Summer is just around the corner, and in almost any supermarket that you will walk into, you will be greeted by plenty of strawberries. Never mind that they are not in season yet. Never mind that they can make you really sick, or even put you in the hospital! Strawberries are not all safe to eat, so let’s take a closer look at one of the most beloved berries in the World and find out more.*
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 of skin rashes, and 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. Let me say that again – it was the PESTICIDES.
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 previously. 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 sunshine and your organic strawberries 🙂
*This article came out last year, but it is yet again relevant, and so I am re-posting it with some minor alterations.
[1,2] Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND: Cure Your Child With Food, p.256, 269
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