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September 2, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Consumers who buy organic fruits and vegetables because they think they're tastier, more nutritious and better for the environment are getting at least some of what they're paying for, according to a study published online Wednesday. The finding is based on a detailed comparison of organic and conventional strawberries from 13 pairs of neighboring farms in Watsonville, Calif., where 40% of the state's strawberry crop is produced. A team of ecologists, food chemists, soil scientists and other experts analyzed a variety of factors before concluding that the organic berries — and the dirt they were raised in — were superior.
March 29, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Feminist Gloria Steinem joined a march of more than 1,000 people to protest what she called criminal conditions in California's strawberry fields. The group marched more than a mile down Broadway past stores selling berries picked by women who the United Farm Workers say aren't paid enough to feed their families. Most of California's strawberry workers earn about $8,000 annually, with no health insurance or other benefits, said Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the union.
April 16, 1985 | T.W. McGARRY, Times Staff Writer
Aspring hot spell and a change in pay method set strawberry pickers to dashing through the fields Monday. Pickers raced through berry fields in Chatsworth, trying to make more money for themselves and save the fruit for its destiny, a date with shortcake and whipped cream. The pickers, who until last week made $4 an hour, were put on a piecework basis by the growers, the Kotake Brothers farming company. On Monday they began receiving $1.
When Victor Voth speaks, the strawberry industry listens. It's that way the world over. Voth, 71, is the acknowledged guru of strawberry research. During his 40 years studying the tasty fruit at the University of California South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, Voth has developed more than 20 marketable strains.
February 7, 1992
The City Council this week opened the way this week for fresh strawberry stands in town. At least one is expected to open this weekend. The council voted to require temporary use permits for the stands rather than conditional use permits, which cost more and take longer to get. Councilman Earl J. Prescott, who supported the action, said the move sets a precedent that could allow other stands offering seasonal produce to open. Councilman Richard B.
January 30, 2007 | Jerry Hirsch, Times Staff Writer
Maybe the Beatles were right -- strawberry fields are forever. It turns out that instead of destroying California's crop, this month's freeze might have saved it. Farmers were harvesting an unprecedented number of strawberries until the freeze. The pending surplus could have sent prices for early-season fruit crashing. "We were probably headed for an economic disaster," said Bill Reiman, a major Oxnard grower and secretary-treasurer of the California Strawberry Commission.
A few still-edible berries were left scattered on the pavement next to dozens of empty fruit crates. Unfastened red and green tents flapped in the wind, and whipped cream and red berry juice were smeared into the pavement. Oxnard's grassy College Park was looking just a little bit the worse for wear Monday after the biggest California Strawberry Festival in the city's history.
April 14, 1997 | From Associated Press
Thousands of United Farm Workers union members and supporters from around the nation marched Sunday to demand better pay and working conditions for California's 20,000 strawberry pickers. The event kicked off the second year of the union's ambitious attempt to organize the state's strawberry industry, which produces 80% of the nation's crop.
July 24, 1998 | From Associated Press
Strawberry pickers at Coastal Berry Co. voted in favor of union representation Thursday night in a victory for an upstart workers group, and a defeat for the rival United Farm Workers. The Coastal Berry Farmworkers Committee received 523, or nearly 54%, of the 972 ballots cast with the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board. The committee needed more than half the total votes cast to represent workers in negotiating with Coastal Berry, the nation's largest strawberry grower.
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