Here is a short breakdown on pesticide use for non-organic California strawberries. Now imagine how many times this can be multiplied across the food chain. OUCH.
In 2004 California strawberry growers used 184 different pesticides.
However, six accounted for 80.6 percent of use, nearly nine million pounds.
Four were fumigants designed to kill all soil life and are among the most dangerous pesticides. Those four accounted for 74.1 percent of use which averages out to about 249 pounds per acre.
One, Methyl bromide is still on the market even though it has been scheduled to be banned for more than ten years.
The Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting substances determined
that Methyl bromide is one of the most destructive chemicals reaching the ozone.
In spite of its dangers, California and Florida strawberry growers are largely responsible for keeping it on the market for so long.
An average of 335.40 pounds of pesticides were used on each acre to grow strawberries for our shortcakes.
2004 Strawberry Pesticides, Most Used
CHLOROPICRIN–Tear Gas, fumigant, biocide, birth defects, highly toxic to fish.
METHYL BROMIDE–Fumigant, biocide, birth defects.
1,3-DICHLOROPROPENE- Fumigant, Cancer, Biocide, ground water contaminant, toxic to fish.
SULFUR–Fungicide, causes birth defects.
METAM-SODIUM–Fumigant, nerve poison, birth defects.
CAPTAN–Fungicide, insecticide, cancerous, birth defects.
178 Other Pesticides used on California Strawberries
Pounds of Pesticides used on California Strawberries
Total Acreage of California Strawberries
Average pounds of Pesticide per acre
Total California Organic Strawberry Acreage
￼* from Will Allen’s The War on Bugs