Strawberries are tasty, sweet treats that announce spring and warmer weather. We use them in baking, cocktails, and eat them straight out of hand. As delicious as strawberries are, they are also a huge industry in California–the state is the nation’s leading producer and over 37,000 acres are set aside for strawberry production this year. They are the sixth most valuable fruit crop in California, with an approximate value of $2.1 billion.
Because they are such an enormous part of California’s agricultural economy, strawberries are also a microcosm of many issues facing the industry, especially the proposed use of highly toxic chemicals like methyl iodide and the labor, health, and safety issues that accompany it. (more…)