My mother-in-law steered me to this outrageous story: California is now allowing its strawberry growers to use an all-purpose fumigant on their crops that is linked to cancer and thyroid disease–something so poisonous, it is injected into the soil only by specialists and treated areas have to be covered by impermeable tarps. (Presumably the treated areas are not covered so long that the plants die.)
I'm sorry. I grow strawberries. If in order to grow them, you need to use a chemical that five Nobel laureates pleaded with the Bush administration to ban, there is something wrong with the way you are growing your strawberries.
Meanwhile, over on the rational front, where you don't poison the village in order to sell it milkshakes, insect ecologist David Crowder has found that organic potato fields offer BETTER pest control than convestional fields, as well as larger, healthier, plants. In organic fields, there is a better balance of predators keeping the Colorado potato beetle in check.