Strawberries can be purchased 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. Therefore, they are already available in many supermarkets in April, although the strawberry season in Germany does not start until May.

Buy strawberries in April? Why is it 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 fertilizers.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), to grow one kilo of strawberries you need about 300 liters of water. That's the equivalent of two full bathtubs.

Transporting strawberries: the consequences for the environment

The groundwater level in these regions is constantly decreasing, meaning that the population is at risk of severe water shortages and droughts in the summer months. Furthermore, the exploitation of harvest workers and undignified working conditions in these areas are repeatedly criticized.

Furthermore, the transport of fruit from Spain to Germany considerably harms the climate balance. According to Germany's Product Carbon Footprint Pilot Project, CO2 emissions from a 500-gram bowl of Spanish strawberries already amount to 440 grams, although in total more than 70,000 tons of strawberries are imported from Spain each year.

Furthermore, in order to be grown there, the plants must be covered with huge sheets of plastic, most of which are then illegally disposed of.

Strawberries from Spain also have a high level of pesticide contamination. In 2018, Öko-Test tested, among other things, Spanish strawberries for more than 500 different pesticides.

Half of the strained strawberries

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

By purchasing organic strawberries, you can reduce the risk of pesticide contamination. However, in April the majority also come from Spain and damage the environment and climate.

But this not only applies to strawberries, but also to essentially out-of-season fruits and vegetables that must be imported for consumption. Therefore, you should make sure to buy local food whenever possible.

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