It’s Strawberry Season . . . Do You Know Where Yours Came From?
I had some amazing strawberries earlier this week at a restaurant known as Arnies in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The waitress assured me they were grown locally, though not necessarily organically, so I pushed all thoughts of pesticides out of my head and munched away. Delicious.
As strawberry season approaches here in Maine, brought on earlier than usual by the mild winter and spring, I think everyone should be thinking about where their strawberries come from and how they’re grown.
When they’re cultivated and harvested locally, we have the opportunity to talk directly to farmers to see what they may, or may not, be spraying on their fields. When we grow them ourselves we control those factors. But what about the other 11 months of the year — when strawberries are almost always available in the supermarket that sourced them from far-flung places across the South and South America? How did those farmers grow their berries?
In California right now a major debate is raging about a new pesticide registration: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100504/full/news.2010.218.html?s=news_rss. In light of last week’s now infamous study linking pesticides on fruits to ADHD, we have no excuse for not taking a harder look at the issue of pesticides on food — and landscapes.