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Can strawberries be mass produced without pesticides?
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 Post subject: 1104 Strawberry Fields Forever
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:00 am 
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Along the Food Chain with Michael Olson…

1104: Strawberry Fields Forever

Professor of Soil Science Carol Shennan & Assistant Specialist, Margherita Zavatta, University of California, Santa Cruz


Can strawberries be mass produced without pesticides?


They say in the old days strawberry farming was for gypsies.

A farmer could grow the delicious berry for a season or two in one place, but then bad little bugs would gather in the soil and eat up the plants’ roots and, well, time to move on.

Then World War II brought pesticides to agriculture, and strawberry farmers learned they could use those pesticides to stay home.

One of those pesticides was methyl bromide, a gas that, when injected into the soil, kills all the living things in that soil and turns them into fertilizer.

Methyl bromide, together with many other pesticides, made it possible for the itinerant strawberry industry to settle down and industrialize. Today strawberry farmers can produce berries from their plants for up to nine months.

But what has been good for strawberry farmers, and those who like to eat cheap strawberries, comes with a decided caveat: Each strawberry sold in the United States contains, according to the USDA, an average of 7.7 pesticides.

And that leads us to ask…

Can strawberries be mass produced without pesticides?

(Food Chain Radio & Forums #1104: University of California, Santa
Cruz Professor of Soil Science Carol Shennan and Assistant Specialist, Margherita Zavatta, strawberry farms, methyl bromide, pesticide contaminated foods)


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