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Strawberry Scare

Lets see. The last time I had a really good tasting strawberry was when my mom was making strawberry pies and jams and I was just a teenager. Now years later I ask myself where has the taste of those memorable strawberries gone? Honestly, something is really missing. All year long I wait in anticipation through dreary, cold days, eating pears and apples and dream of warm June days when I can pluck that first deep red juicy strawberry right from the patch!

As a kid I would find wild strawberries that were deep red and the size of a pea but their flavor was so concentrated, sweet, intense and they smelled like strawberries. I still think wild strawberries are the best. Commercially grown strawberries and even the ones that grew in my garden were a huge disappointment in the flavor department. Organic strawberries were not that great either.

Strawberries will be coming into supermarkets and farmers markets soon but with all the wacky weather and the incessant rain in many parts of the country, I am not holding out much hope for sweet strawberries. They are usually hard with white tips, have no flavor and are packed like sardines into plastic containers and purchased by consumers who are just dying to have something besides apples and oranges.

How did we get to this point? It’s called progress. Farmers want  strawberries that grow faster, are larger, have a longer shelf life and are disease resistant. Consumers want strawberries, period. And they are willing to pay dearly for them even when they are out of season. And there is the GM (genetically modified) factor to be considered.

A recent report by CNN will have you thinking twice about purchasing strawberries that have been exposed to 20 different pesticides. 

I still go into the woods to find those dainty little strawberries packing big flavor because they are so delicious, pure and a great memory of childhood.

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