There was a part of me wishfully thinking that insecticides were not a major concern. I eat a LOT of strawberries and had recently taken to consuming more local ones rather than the Californian ones in the freezer section that I use for protein shakes. And all throughout our early morning picking, there wasn’t an insecticide sprayer in sight. A short discussion with the farmer tending the plots we were picking had him admit to insecticide use, “but only until the heavy flowering stage, not while berries were ripening.” He added, somewhat convincingly, that he didn’t open to the public for picking if fields were recently sprayed, and any spray they DID use wasn’t really the supers harmful/”black label” stuff… they were, after all under the “auspices” of the Benguet State University…
He added that it had poured the night before and yes, I agreed that would wash away some of the chemicals, but then put it straight into the soil that provided nourishment to the same plants. So I was sceptical to say the least, but so far so good. But just 5 minutes later, as we returned to our car, I spied this guy spraying strawberry plants less than 50 or so meters away from where we were picking! And take a good look at the photos, in the field right NEXT door to the sprayer, there are oodles of ripe berries ready for the picking! YIKES. I realize there are probably less harmful insecticides, but the vision of this guy with mask on spraying the berries were a REAL TURN-OFF. There goes any future local berry purchases unless they are certified organic by a reliable source. Bummer.
Now I am really beginning to wonder how safe it is to eat so many of the leafy greens and other vegetables that come down from “commercial” farms in the mountain province and elsewhere in the country. People think they are doing themselves a healthy favor by focusing on vegetables, but egads, what if they are consuming the equivalent of an insecticide cocktail every day of the week? In that case, eating lechon and sisig more often might not be so bad. :)