Spring is here and soon it will be that glorious time of year when so many delicious fruits and berries are in season. I don’t know about you, but I love berries. They’re sweet, delicious, and full of vitamin c! Just make sure the berries you eat are not also full of a dangerous pesticide called methyl iodide. Methyl iodide is a highly toxic chemical that has been shown to cause numerous issues including birth defects, thyroid disease and brain damage. What does this stuff have to do with berries? Well, in the great state of California (where most of our strawberries and a good number of other berries are grown) this chemical is used as a pesticide to keep the bugs from snacking on those tasty little fruits. California is not the only state that has legalized this pesticide, but it is the largest producer of most berries in the US. So, what do you do about getting your berry fix? Buy organic!
On average organic berries in season are maybe a dollar or two more per pound, but I’d say that knowing your strawberries are hazardous chemical free is wort the extra bit of money. The one problem that many run into with organic berries more often than with “conventional” berries is that because they are chemical free they tend to mold faster than those with chemicals on them. It’s not surprise to me that even mold doesn’t want to live on those filthy methyl iodide slathered berries. It is very frustrating to have the more expensive fruit last half as long, but my friends, there is a simple way around this. As soon as you bring your berries home rinse them with water and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will help keep mold from growing and kill any mold spores already there. Be sure, though, to rinse them again before eating to take away any smell of vinegar that may be lingering. You can also freeze berries extremely well. This is best if you are planning to cook with them or use them for smoothies. So, when the organic berries go on sale, stock up and fill your freezer. It’s great to have berries on hand to toss in your oatmeal in the morning or the banana-yogurt shake that powers you through your day.
I can’t wait for berry season, and I hope you are excited as well. Just keep in mind that when you’re buying berries (like so many foods these days) you might be getting more than meets the eye.