If you are in Australia there is no doubt that you have heard a lot about the strawberry contamination this week.
A number of incidences of sewing needles being found in strawberries triggered an urgent recall/destruction of strawberries. Supermarkets pulled all strawberries off their shelves. Copycats and hoax needles have made the situation worse.
Our law enforcement has a difficult job ahead rigorously filtering through every lead to find and apprehend the culprit/s.
Coming at a time when strawberry farmers were already discounting heavily due to an abundance of smaller size strawberries (that the supermarkets do not want to buy), this has not come at a good time for the industry.
Farmers were destroying strawberries by the truckload, or leaving them to rot on the vine as they couldn’t sell through their regular supply chain. One farmer burnt their entire crop, as it was cheaper than harvesting them.
The devastating images of strawberries being dumped made the rounds on social media, and the call to action started.
Public support for farmers has been magnificent. “Cut them Up, Don’t cut them Out” is the catch phrase of the week.
Local farmers were reporting that people were coming to purchase strawberries direct. Farms were run off their feet with some working from 5am to midnight trying to pick enough strawberries to meet demand. Farmers had discounted prices for those that wanted to pick their own.
Soon I am hoping we will see a decline in the hysteria around strawberries and our farmers can get back to the regular day to day running of their farms and the public will get back to buying strawberries as they used to. I am fearful that for some farmers, this event pushed the limit for them. I hope not.
How you can Help Support our Farmers
If you have a farm near you, pop in & grab some strawberries. Make an event of it and pick your own. Kids love it!
Grab a punnet or two or three from your local supermarket or fruit shop.
If they don’t have any, ask the manager when they will be getting their next delivery of strawberries.
If you are in Brisbane and not keto (or happy to cheat for a cause) then get down to King George Square on Wednesday 26th September, for a once off pop up selling the famous Ekka Strawberry Sundae. The profits from the sale will be given back to the The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation (TPCHF), I heard on ABC Radio this morning that these funds will be directed to support the strawberry farmers.
What to do with all those strawberries?
At our house, we purchased 10kg of strawberries. 2 full trays. We love strawberries, but we wouldn’t be able to eat that many in a few days. First, we will be kicked out of ketosis, and secondly we’ll probably make ourselves ill (unless you are like my mother, who loves strawberries but is mildly allergic. She has eaten so many that she has triggered her allergy response, but is still eating them).
I washed and handpicked amazing looking strawberries that were a good size for eating, and popped them in a container in the fridge. The kids have been helping themselves as they get peckish. The container I used is one of those ones that magically refills itself, it doesn’t matter how many you eat, it never seems to reduce. I’m sure I will have to cut up and freeze some of these at the end of the weekend, before they turn bad.
I was left with the smaller strawberries, slightly under-ripe strawberries & some that may have a slightly mushy bit from packaging and transport. To keep them at their peak of freshness, I simply cut the tops off and froze half of them. I placed them cut side down on a tray and put in the freezer. Once frozen, I bagged them up into convenient sizes. Freezing them on a tray before bagging helps to avoid them sticking together and being a nightmare to break apart once frozen. I’ll use these in keto ice-cream and as a flavour mix-up for our morning keto Ultim shake.
The other half I have cut up and have marked them for my first attempt at sugar free jam making this weekend. Hopefully I will have some success.
While I was wondering what to do with all the strawberries I had, I found heaps of keto-friendly strawberry recipes. I have collected them on our Pinterest board, so make sure you check it out.
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