Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The dark side of strawberries

Each spring I take my granddaughters strawberry picking. Strawberries are, or at least used to be, a spring treat. But no more. Today strawberries are available year 'round. Most come from California.

A few years ago my wife and I motored through the strawberry fields of coastal California. They were immense. As we drove along I wondered about the downside to this vast monoculture of fruit. Today I came across an article answering a part of this question: California's strawberry industry is hooked on dangerous pesticides.

I believe this story may go a little heavy on the element of fear but at the article's core it is true. Dangerous chemicals are being used and not just in agriculture in California. In this case, the use is good for the strawberry growers but may not be good for the field workers, the people in nearby communities and even the world at large.

I have a friend who likes to start dinner with a prayer for those children going without enough food. Possibly he should also being praying for those children who have enough food but food that comes at a very high, but hidden, price. These children, or their descendants, may well find that they must pay the hidden costs as the payments can no longer be deferred.

Think Peru and the fields used to grow asparagus for year 'round consumption. When the ground water is exhausted, when the fields are again dry, dusty, desert land, how will the children of the region survive? Big agriculture will simply move on but the people, the people with deep historical roots in the area, will remain.

How Peru's wells are being sucked dry by British love of asparagus
Industrial-scale production risks water tragedy, charity warns

1 comment:

  1. Almonds in Califiornia are another problem, water intensive…. California farmers are draining their ground water to feed them…. big problems down the road