California is the nation’s strawberry capital, growing 88 percent of U.S. supply. Strawberries are a highly lucrative crop for California, whose climate allows for nine months of production. But as UC Santa Cruz professor Julie Guthman points out in her latest book, “Wilted,” the industry long criticized for grueling labor conditions now faces an uncertain future. The overuse of pesticides and toxic soil fumigants has led to new pathogens that threaten the crop. Guthman joins us to talk about strawberries and their grim environmental footprint.
The Fragile Future of Strawberries
UC Santa Cruz professor Julie Guthman's book “Wilted” claims that the overuse of pesticides and toxic soil fumigants threaten strawberry crops in California. (iStock)
Julie Guthman, professor of social sciences, UC Santa Cruz; author, "Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry"