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Food news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Produce at the market
by Nancy Marsh
on April 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Can we trust that these berries are not being poisoned by Methyl Iodide and other pesticide/fungicide/herbicides?? I want so badly to buy these berries because they are so flavorful compared to the nasty ones at the grocery stores. I cannot trust the chemical toxic potential in these berries -- forget "foodborn illnesses"....lets talk about longterm physiological damage...
by Richard H. Molinar
on April 28, 2011 at 7:34 PM
Nancy: I share your same concern over strawberries, and they can be sprayed a considerable number of times - IN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE. But I have worked closely with the growers here in Fresno for over 15 years and I can assure you that all 26 growers are about as close to organic as can be without being certified. They spray hardly at all - there might be 1 insect spray in a year, but often not even that. They do not use methyl iodide in Fresno strawberries, or weed killers, or even insecticides. They do use a nitrogen fertilizer called UN32 and that is the only reason they cannot be organic. Most of the strawberry farmers have attended our yearly food safety meeting held at the UCCE office.  
The only caution I would give you is do not buy from the street corner vendors with umbrellas as they come over from the coast to sell. Our growers are in the wooden roadside stands and are found on the Fresno County Fruit Trails map online at . Chandler has been the favorite for 20 years, but for a special treat try the delicious Albion variety - at Siongs farm on Willow and Behymer, or at Vues farm on Manning and Bethel. Enjoy.
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