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Supermarkets are full: Why you shouldn’t buy strawberries in April

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Supermarkets are full: Why you shouldn’t buy strawberries in April

Strawberries can be bought in many supermarkets and discount stores as early as April. Read here why you should wait before buying.

Strawberries are one of the most popular spring and summer fruits in Germany. They are therefore available in many supermarkets as early as April, although the strawberry season in Germany actually only begins in May.

Buy strawberries in April? Why that’s not a good idea

Most fruits often have to be imported from southern countries – and this at considerable cost to the climate and the environment.

Most of the strawberries available in German supermarkets in April are grown on illegal land in the water-scarce province of Huelva in southern Spain – with extremely high water consumption and intensive use of fertilizer.

According to the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), it takes around 300 liters of water to grow one kilo of strawberries. That’s the equivalent of two full bathtubs.

Strawberry transport: The consequences for the environment

The groundwater level in these regions is constantly decreasing, which means that the population is threatened with severe water shortages and droughts in the summer months. In addition, the exploitation of harvest workers and undignified working conditions in these areas are repeatedly criticized.

Furthermore, the transport of the fruit from Spain to Germany significantly damages the climate balance. According to the Product Carbon Footprint Pilot Project Germany, the CO2 emissions from a 500 gram bowl of Spanish strawberries are already 440 grams. In total, however, over 70,000 tons of strawberries are imported from Spain every year.

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In addition, for cultivation there, the plants have to be covered with huge plastic sheets, most of which are then disposed of illegally.

The strawberries from Spain also have a high level of pesticide contamination. In 2018, Öko-Test examined, among other things, Spanish strawberries for over 500 different pesticides.

Half of the strawberries strained

Particularly questionable pesticides were found in half of the strawberries, which are suspected of being carcinogenic, among other things. The pesticide bupirimate, for example, was also detected.

If you buy organic strawberries, you can reduce the risk of pesticide contamination. However, in April most of these also come from Spain and harm the environment and climate.

However, this does not only apply to strawberries, but also to fundamentally non-seasonal fruits and vegetables that have to be imported for consumption. Therefore, you should make sure to buy local food wherever possible.

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