Happy fruiting season! It’s the time of year when strawberries are coming in season. (Or, I should say in season naturally, since we can get fruit all year round, even when it’s not in season.) Strawberry season is good news and bad news… The good news is, of course, how fresh and yummy they are, and they signal the start of all the fruity goodness to come through the next several months. The bad news is that they’re heavily sprayed with some pretty nasty chemicals, and they’re one of the heaviest sprayed crops. Why should you care?
Strawberries and Chemicals
Research by the US government in the last several years showed that conventional strawberries may contain 45 different pesticide residues including:
– 6 known or suspected carcinogens (cause cancer)
– 16 suspected hormone disruptors
– 7 neurotoxins (toxic to the nervous system)
- 6 developmental or reproductive toxins
- 12 chemicals that are toxic to honeybees
And if all that’s not bad enough, recent government research also showed “residues of 81 different pesticides in various combinations“, and “20 percent of samples had residues of 10 or more pesticides“.
What to Do
That’s some scary stuff right there. Those innocent-looking strawberries contain a toxic soup of chemicals. Before you freak out and tell me how much you love strawberries (I do too!), you can still eat them. Just eat only ORGANIC strawberries. Yes, they’ll cost more, but they’ll cost a lot less than getting cancer.
It’s pretty easy to find organic strawberries these days. Even better, grow your own. If you have a garden or even a large pot on a balcony, you can grow your own organic strawberries. They’re easy to grow and taste better fresh picked, anyway! And you know exactly what’s gone into their growing.
For More Information
Eliminating toxic foods from our diet is an important part of eating right and staying healthy. If you want to learn more about the chemicals on food, and which foods are cleaner and dirtier, check out these resources:
The second link is to the Environmental Working Group, which puts out a list of the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” foods each season. The 2018 list just came out, and in case you’re wondering, strawberries landed at #1 again this year on the “dirtiest” list. I highly recommend you check out their lists and use them as a guide to know which fruits and veggies to buy organic, and which are ok to eat conventional (not organic).