by Kiko Matsing
Leaving strawberries to rot happens every year when the competition in California starts up, causing a decrease in strawberry prices.
This year, however, has turned out to be much worse, because a long, cold winter delayed Florida’s strawberries.
“They’re too cheap,” said strawberry farmer Buddy Sewell. “I can’t afford to pick them. They are just going to rot in the field.”
For Sewell, a man born into the strawberry business, it’s been a tough year. In 2009, Sewell Farms sold 207,000 flats of strawberries. This year, he has sold only 125,000.
“I’ve been involved in the farm all my life,” he said. “I’m 75 years old, and never seen a winter like this before.”
What?!? No global warming?
In postings online, Floridians were certainly upset. One resident wrote that “it should be a crime to plow food under.”
Another posting read, “I’ll never buy another Florida strawberry again, this is nothing short of greed.”
The people who live closest to the strawberry farms are doubly upset. Homeowners say that all the water the farmers used to save their crops in January dried up wells and caused large sinkholes that ruined homes in residential neighborhoods.
What a waste of food and water! What an insult to the poor and hungry for the affluent to throw food away. There must be a more just way to make profit. How about letting non-profits harvest the crop for charity?