We haven’t carried conventionally grown strawberries for years because the pesticides being used to grow them are basically intentional poisoning. Nina Gold, one of our guests, recently brought to my attention some work being done to stop the use of Methyl Iodide, a particularly horrible pesticide. Nina’s SF-based group, Play Not Spray, is a coalition of parents who want their children to grow up free of toxins in their food, water and air. They’ve partnered with Pesticide Watch to get support from local grocery stores to pledge not to carry strawberries grown with Methyl Iodide. Through their Safe Strawberries Pledge, they aim to let governor-elect Jerry Brown’s administration and big agriculture know that our community demands the right to safe food–in this case, safe strawberries.
Methyl Iodide is what they use in the lab to induce cancer in animals, yet our outgoing governor just agreed to allow the use of it for growing strawberries in California. With the new approval, Methyl Iodide will be applied in Cali strawberry fields as a gas, which has potential to reach many communities and contaminate groundwater. Of course I was happy to sign the pledge–the more stores that speak out, the better; hopefully we can get Jerry Brown to reverse this decision.
As far as voting with our dollars goes, if you as the consumer decide not to buy conventionally grown strawberries, the supply will react accordingly.