05 May 2011

Strawberry Salad and Unsafe Strawberries

Still living and cooking without a kitchen sink, or counters, or a dishwasher, or a washing machine, or a kitchen pantry. Hence the disturbingly simple recipes, posted few and far between. Fear not, Goofy Fans! My posting will improve soon, when the Irreverent Cook visits me.

Lately we've been eating strawberry salad. In case you didn't know the latest news about strawberries, rumour goes that both California and the Federal Government have recently allowed a dangerous toxic fumigant, methyl iodide, to protect all their strawberries from fungus in the night. Here are some links covering the story. So far, only six states allow the use of methyl iodide on their strawberries, but soon everyone will. Methyl iodide has been proven to cause cancer, both to lab mice and to the male farm workers exposed to it.

To protect yourself and your family AND still enjoy delicious strawberries, follow these simple steps:

1) If you go strawberry picking at a farm, first ask the farm what sort of pest control it uses. Specifically mention methyl iodide.
2) Ask the farmer at your farmer's market the same question.
3) Do not EVER buy non-organic strawberries in the supermarket. If the strawberries don't say they are organic, they aren't.
4) Face the fact that you are going to have to spend more cash on safe strawberries than you would on non-organic. After all, the whole reason people use this nasty stuff is so they can grow more strawberries with less labor and less land.
5) Grow your own strawberries! You can even grow them in a pot on your front step, and they will taste and look divine. Try seeds from here, here, or here.

Whew! After going through all that angst, you're probably ready for some organic strawberry salad!

Strawberry Salad

sliced organic strawberries
crumbles of goat cheese or blue cheese or…blue goat cheese like Humboldt Fog
fresh lettuce or spinach
chopped toasted nuts like almonds or walnuts or pecans
optional: poppyseeds!

Dressing Options:

citrus juice (orange, lemon, or lime, or a mixture) mixed with extra virgin olive oil to taste
let fresh sliced strawberries sit for a while in good balsamic vinegar--when fruity and diluted with sweetness, drizzle it over

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