Today starts the big celebration of “Midsommar” in Sweden. It is a tradition celebrated since ancient times, and one food to be found everywhere to celebrate this day will be strawberries. It is also the National Day of Luxembourg, and there will be plenty of strawberries eaten here as well. Let’s take a closer look at one of the most beloved berries in the World.
Strawberries are a great food because among many things they are a low-allergen food, which means that it is very rare for people to have an allergic or intolerance reaction to them. Even so, many people think that they have a strawberry allergy. How can that be?
Last year one of my clients told me the story of how he ended up having to take his young daughter to the emergency room on a Monday, after her symptoms (skin rashes, itching) had gradually become really bad over the weekend. Long story short, it was one of the first weekends where strawberries were being sold, and they had bought a tonne. The daughter, who loves strawberries, had eaten her fare share every day that weekend, and it turned out that she had an allergic reaction to the pesticides that were sprayed on the strawberries, NOT the actual strawberries.
Because strawberries are such fragile fruits, they are sprayed heavily to keep them looking fresh as long as possible. Their skin is also very thin and porous, which means that they soak up anything that has been sprayed on them. Unfortunately, this is not something that you can just rinse off. Strawberries is the very top offender on ewg’s dirty dozen list that I talked about last week. To read even more about the pesticides used on strawberries got to www.ewg.org and type in “strawberries” in the search box, and you will have plenty to read.
Kelly Dorfman, author of Cure Your Child With Food, guides us to ask the following questions regarding your child, or yourself, to help figure out if you are reacting “to something besides the food itself, most likely pesticide residues, artificial flavors or colors or genetically modified food”[ 2]
- Do you, or your child get symptoms when eating strawberries sometimes, but not always? When you eat the strawberries at grandmas house you have no reaction, but when you are eating them at home (from supermarket) you get, for example, an itchy throat.
- Do you or your child get red cheeks or rashes that seem impossible to attribute to any one food?
- Do you or your child complain of an itchy throat or mouth?
- Do you or your child seem to be allergic to something, but nothing comes up in allergy testing? (symptoms could be itching, skin rashes, swelling, wheezing, nasal congestion, abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness)
- Are you or your child very sensitive to sounds, lights, temperature or smells? This could be an indication of a more delicate nervous system, which will be even more sensitive to toxins.
So, what can you do? Start by paying attention to the questions and symptoms above. Learn about the dirty dozen from ewg. And regarding strawberries I think the best cause of action for your health is to plant them yourself, buy them organic, or simply let it be.
Enjoy the festivities and your organic strawberries 🙂
[1,2] Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND: Cure Your Child With Food, p.256, 269