Toxic Strawberries

On a recent trip, I found an article in a local paper discussing the need to buy organic strawberries. Most of us know that non-organic berries are more likely to absorb (non-organic) fertilizers and pesticides. In fact, out of most of the fruits and veggies, they rank number one. See the dirty dozen at the Environmental Working Group .

What struck me as interesting was that the article mentions that the state of California asked a group of scientists to evaluate the risks and dangers of applying methyl iodide to strawberry crops. Here was the results:

When the state of California convened an independent scientific advisory panel to assess its risks, the finding (PDF) was blunt: Methyl iodide is a “highly toxic chemical” and its use in farm fields “would result in exposures to a large number of the public and thus would have a significant adverse impact on the public health.” Preventing exposure to it would be “difficult, if not impossible,” the panel concluded.

So what does California do?…They chose to approve it for application on strawberries. Add this is as another reason to buy organic strawberries. This poison is not only a carcinogen but can contaminate our ground water. Making healthy decisions is becoming a harder task, especially when the convenience-of-food is winning.

One solution to making healthy decisions is to grow your own food. However, that is not always a possibility for people, or, even, an interest. Therefore, as a consumer, let your voice be heard through your food purchases. You get three opportunities everyday to let your voice be heard about the food you eat – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I encourage you to contact Governor Brown to take action and ask him to at least stop the use of the chemical until he has time to take a “fresh” look at the issue. Please contact him at:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol
Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

OR email at the State’s website:

About Sharon M., MS RD

As a registered dietitian and a master gardener, I know the healing power of food. Nothing has given me more satisfaction than growing my own food. I have experience working in the public health field, including school districts. I have worked with pregnant moms, children, diabetics, and bariatric patients. I emphasis a plant-based, whole food diet. Yet, I appreciate the movement of eating sustainably, while hoping folks appreciate the bean as a source of protein. "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld "Feeding is going well if both you and yor child are having a good time." -Ellyn Satter
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