Contaminated Strawberries Still a Problem

contaminated strawberries

contaminated strawberriesThe familiar taste and wonderful aroma may not be all you are getting from your local supermarket when you buy a clam shell carton of your favorite spring and summer fruit.  According to the annual list compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), contaminated strawberries are still a problem.  Each year, the EWG analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.  The then compile their lists: the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen.  The Dirty Dozen are the top 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest and most numerous residual amounts of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals on/in the foods we consume.

Are Contaminated Strawberries Necessary?

Due to the fragility of strawberries, many pesticides and other chemicals are often used in the conventional production of the crops.  The chemicals and technologies have allowed the strawberry industry to be a multi-billion dollar industry.  However, what price do we pay over the long haul by consuming trace amounts of the chemicals used in their cultivation?  The verdict is out, but it is generally accepted that eating contaminated strawberries is less desirable than eating uncontaminated ones.

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Strawberries and Esophageal Cancer

strawberries and esophageal cancer mechanisms

strawberries and esophageal cancer mechanismsEveryone loves to eat strawberries.  The signature aroma and exquisite taste are known throughout the whole world.  And, while strawberries are universally loved, there exists a fiend that is universally known and despised: cancer.  While I have written in the past about some of the health benefits of strawberries, recent research is showing that strawberries and esophageal cancer may be linked as well.

Primarily, research done on esophageal cancer is revealing that the oral consumption of freeze-dried strawberries in powdered form can prevent precancerous esophageal changes from progressing to full-blown esophageal cancer.  In fact, while the effect in rats was significant, the randomized, blinded, phase II trial performed in China over 6 months was very promising for the future of strawberries and esophageal cancer.

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Strawberries on the Verge of Helping Diabetics

strawberries on the verge of helping diabetics

strawberries on the verge of helping diabeticsDiabetes can be a particularly pernicious problem.  As virtually all the cells in the human body require glucose to function, and diabetics have biological difficulty getting that sugar to go where it ought (inside the cells to be used), any new development that aids in the amelioration of the symptoms of said condition can be a boon to ailing individuals.  Interestingly enough, strawberries may hold a key to satiate the cravings of hungry insulin-disadvantaged people while keeping their hemoglobin happily hauling hefty amounts of oxygen instead of glucose.

Researchers have identified six volatile compounds in strawberries that mediate the perceived sweetness of strawberries.  What is more interesting, however, is that those compounds show potential to increase the perceived sweetness of foods independent of the quantities of sugar contained therein.  Unlike artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) that have had controversy swirling around their use since their FDA approval, should the six volatile sweetness-enhancers in strawberries be isolated and stabilized, the potential benefits to both the health care fields, dieticians, and even the strawberry industry are quite significant.

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Growing Strawberries in Bangladesh

growing strawberries in bangladesh

growing strawberries in bangladeshStrawberries are a small fruit native to the Americas and also found in several other regions of the world.  Bangladesh is not one of them.  However, the Fragaria x ananassa hybrid cross that makes up most of the strawberry cultivation around the world is not breaking through in Khagrachhari just yet.  Two pioneering farmers, Bimal Chandra Chakma and Munmun Chakma, have successfully grown strawberries there for years now.  They used a species called Rabi-3, and have watched as their efforts have quadrupled the size of their plantation.

The pair of farmers initially started with 50 decimals of land, but were able to expand their growing strawberries in Bangladesh to 200 decimals in just three years.  What is also ground-breaking is that the couple has paved the way for other farmers to begin growing strawberries in Bangladesh since their operation has proven to be commercially viable.

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Planting Strawberries with Cucumbers

planting strawberries with cucumbersQ: Planting Strawberries with Cucumbers?

On February 25, 2015, Jamie asked:

Hello,

I’ve read the comments to see that cucumbers and beans both should be fine planted close to strawberries. I have a small patch in my small urban garden and would really like to maximize space. My berries are only june bearing, and I am envisioning trellising cucumbers above the patch. You said to keep the trellises on the north side to avoid shading the plants too much, but would full sun matter once my strawberries are done producing? That is, if the climbing cukes do well over the strawberries and they have less light, would I risk losing plants? And how close to the patch do you think I can plant some cukes, if I stay on top of runners who might want to compete? Space is at a premium.

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Should I Cut Off Runner Plants from My Strawberries?

should i cut off runner plants from my strawberriesThis is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. The information provided in response to the question may benefit others with the same or similar inquiries. Therefore, it has been added to the archive page of submitted questions. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box at the top right of this page to search this site for information.

Q: Should I Cut Off Runner Plants from My Strawberries?

On July 17th, 2011, Stephanie asked:

I planted June-bearing and everbearing strawberries this spring. I have notes from a Master Gardener class that says to cut off the granddaughters and leave the daughters, but other sources say to cut all runners the first year. I was thinking the mother plant might be stronger and produce better fruit if she doesn’t have to send nutrition to the off-spring. I’m not sure what to do this year. I really liked your method of transplanting from bed to bed in the fall, but should I plan to do that the first year of the mother plants?

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Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

strawberry sorbet recipeIf you love to exercise your hospitality genius and have guests over for dinner parties or holiday celebrations or really just about any other reason, you know the value of having a great recipe that brings forth the compliments and praise.  This recipe is one such.  Whether you go with heavy and filling dinner dishes or lighter cuisine, this strawberry sorbet recipe is just the perfect final installment to deliver an exclamation point to the taste buds of your guests that won't be soon forgotten.

The sweet, dissolving aspects of this dessert not only enhance the final memory of delightful tastes, but also goes down smooth.  The rapidity of sweet burst of flavor combined with the feel of frozen sweetness as it melts away is somewhat reminiscent of cotton candy.  The volume is tantalizingly big, but the final result of the spun sugar fibers is a fast-dissolving burst of flavor.  Enjoying this sorbet is similar: no matter how big a bowl you serve, it will be gone before you know it, and even the fullest belly can stand to sample another bite!

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Strawberry Choconana Smoothie

strawberry coconana smoothie recipeDuring the spring and summer months, strawberries are everywhere.  If you spend any time in the grocery store or out and about, you'll likely see cartons upon cartons of fresh strawberries just waiting to be snarfed.  Farmers markets are abounding with the sweet red treats, and pick-your-own operations are getting cranked into high gear as pickers-for-a-day come from miles around to claim Nature's goodness.  You might even turn a corner in your downtown area to find a Strawberry Festival in full effect!

And, if you grow your own strawberry patch, you know just how productive the little strawberry plants can be.  If the rabbits and squirrels and birds don't invade, you will have an abundance of berries to consume.  Since strawberries have a short shelf life, it is important to use what you grow or take home from the store.  Nothing is more frustrating than spending time or money obtaining fresh produce only to open the refrigerator door and encounter a thriving mold population ruining your haul.  So, it is good to have quick and easy strawberry recipes on hand to prevent strawberry loss!  This strawberry choconana smoothie recipe is perfect for turning your strawberries into a family favorite.

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Strawberry Nut Delight

strawberry nut delight recipeMany a happy soul has delved into a delicious strawberry dish that easily dredged delight from the depths of culinary despair and diminished that dastardly devil called “hunger.”  Nevertheless, nary a nut can usually be found frolicking in a frothy fruit treat proffered to tempt the most discerning tastes.  Why do nuts and strawberries find themselves flailing against each other in the minds of master chefs far and wide?  Who knows?  But, it is time to banish such inane notions of gustatory glory and find the true radiance that comes from an olfactory-enhanced experience combining the flavorful aroma of strawberries with the full-bodied force of kernel power.  Get ready, my friends, as this strawberry nut delight recipe will likely shift your expectations of what is right in the world.  Overstated?  You be the judge.

And, of course, don't forget that this is just one of many extraordinary recipes available for your enjoyment on StrawberryPlants.org. There are many other strawberry dessert recipes as well! If you are looking for other culinary uses for your extra strawberries, be sure to see the complete Strawberry Recipes section.

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Strawberry Plant Growers Using Math for Success

strawberry plant growers using math for successEven though growing strawberries is a billion dollar business, there is still room for improvement in the application of scant resources.  Resources such as water are often in high demand.  In the strawberry growing capital of the world, California, farmers are employing a novel approach to find the optimal ways to grow their crops.  They are using mathematics.

By enlisting the help of expert mathematicians, Californian farmers in the Parajo Valley region are developing and using sophisticated mathematical models to ensure the proper utilization of water to mitigate the scarcity of that precious and vital resource.  PBS recently delved into the details of this newsworthy topic on their News Hour segment.

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