Providing the world with a year-round supply of their favorite berries comes with a price tag beyond that you find at the supermarket. The strawberry is susceptible to over 200 species of pests as well as various diseases, resulting in enough pesticide use to land the berry on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. The high perishability and low shelf life of the fruit means high energy consumption to guarantee its freshness to consumers. In addition, as with many hand-picked fruits that require a large seasonal workforce, the strawberry industry can get caught up in political discussions of immigration law.
- Type: Fruit
- Country of Origin: Brittany, France
- Fuel Factor: High
- Source Location: California – also Florida, Mexico, Chile…, also often grown locally.
- Highly perishable fruit with limited shelf life adds high-energy costs.
- Strawberries are susceptible to 200+ species of pests &/or various diseases.
- Hand picking: large seasonal labor force required vs. immigration issues.
- Sustainability & human health: organic vs. conventional strawberry production methods.
Where did Phil’s strawberries actually come from?
The United States produces the most strawberries in the world, and within the United States the state of California is accountable for over 80% of the national crop. Other countries, such as Chile and Mexico, have strawberry operations on a smaller scale. We chose a California farm on which to film our strawberry segment, visiting Otilio Farms near Oxnard, CA for the farming segment and the nearby Driscolls plant, Café Hon’s supplier, for processing.
We visited Otilio Farms near Oxnard, CA, to get a feel for a strawberry farm – it’s location on the map is only approximate. The nearby Driscolls plant serves as processor and distributor for many local strawberry farms, and is in fact the supplier of Café Hon’s breakfast strawberries as well.
View Strawberry Filming and Cafe Locations in a larger map
Image Source: USDA Census