Buying Strawberries Out of Season Kills Hippos

Status: True
A story about the threat to hippos posed by consumers buying strawberries out of season appeared in a few papers last week. Because of the story's proximity to April Fool's Day, it seemed like it might have been a joke, but apparently it wasn't. The reasoning behind the warning is that Kenya is a major supplier of strawberries to Europe. But in order to keep up with the demand for year-round strawberries, Kenyan farmers are draining Lake Naivasha, which is home to thousands of hippos. So if you buy fresh strawberries in the middle of winter, you may end up causing the death of a hippo in Kenya. Dr. Harper, of the University of Leicester notes:

"Almost everybody in Europe who has eaten Kenyan beans or Kenyan strawberries, and gazed at Kenyan roses, has bought Naivasha water. It will become a turgid, smelly pond with impoverished communities eking out a living along bare shores."

Just something to feel guilty about as you enjoy your strawberries and cream.

Animals Food

Posted on Mon Apr 03, 2006


What if I really hate hippos?
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  11:24 AM
Strawberries in winter taste something like small, red, cucumbers covered in seeds. Eat them and you commit offenses against ecology and gastronomy.
Posted by rkh  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  02:27 PM
Facking Greenies, they have to piss on everything enjoyable. They should all go to Hell. Facking bastards.
Posted by Francois Tremblay  in  Montreal, QC  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  05:15 PM
Aw, nasty greenies, huh?

Actually, it's the greenies who want to save and share everything enjoyable, and stop the greedy few from pissing over it all. There wouldn't be much left to enjoy on this planet if pollution and exploitation didn't keep finding opposition from the greenies.

Enjoy your strawberries in season, Francois! When they're out of season, there'll be something else to enjoy. Enjoy your life! There's still plenty for everybody ... so far.
Posted by Wendy  in  Wellington, NZ  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  05:41 PM
Well said Wendy.
Posted by Trotsky  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  05:48 PM
I love it when the tree huggers start talking about pollution! How'd you get to work this morning? Walk, or ride a bike. How about that book you read last, or that newspaper, or magazine??? How many trees gave their life for that, or the shoe box your last pair of shoes came in? How much forest was taken to build that house you live in??? What about that photo you have sitting on your desk or hanging on the wall over it, what with its nice wood frame and all. Let's not forget the paper your checks are made of, or the paper money in your wallet. Or the calendar hanging on your wall.

Dang tree huggers do just as much damage to the environment as those they point the finger at. Fact is, they spend so much time blaming everybody else, that they never realise it...

They'll destroy a forest themselves to make the paper to print the propaganda flyers to tell the world about the forest the other guy destroyed to make the labels he'll put on his product that the tree hugger uses on a daily basis...
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  06:29 PM
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  06:33 PM
Mr. Joplin, please take 40 deep breaths out of a paper bag (yes, yes, from a tree), and ask yourself this: what do picture frames have to do with hippos? I know its easy to get angry and people as dogmatic and judgmental as some 'tree-huggers' can be, but this isn't really a situation that calls for such rage. It shouldn't matter much in Joplin if Dane doesn't get strawberries on his Rice Crispies. Next time you get upset about something, just kick a cat. That is what they are there for.
Posted by D.Esker  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  09:12 PM
yeah i know, stupid treehuggers lol
it's like child labor, who cares about the kids? We get cheaper stuff, and we probably use those products all the time without knowing anyways. So what we don't know won't hurt us, =P keep making those little kids work! rock on!
Which is sarcasm of course ^_^ I'll always buy the fruits that are in season, shouldn't make other animals suffer because of our sweet cravings. Before you do the whole: you used a paper bag/paper product lalala, think the same for child labor products before you speak =)
Posted by Yushi  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  09:29 PM
Hippos are very unfriendly. I prefer the strawberries, I think. And has anybody considered the rights of the strawberry plants to have their water, eh? Or all the poor little birds who eat the strawberries? Down with the hippos; save the fruits!
Posted by Accipiter  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  09:39 PM
Yeah, screw the hippos. They eat dwarfs!


On the subject of environmentalists, though - jeez, it's a question of scale. It's quite sensible to suggest favouring in-season vruits and veg (shit, they even taste better) and a sensitivity to the environment on that level really shouldn't have anyone frothing at the mouth...

OK, there are bound to be some double standards involved - the real world forces compromise. Drawing theline somewhere this side of wanton disregard for our environment is a good thing, no? But then I'm guessing that Christopher in Joplin is the kind of anti-environmentalist who figures that ecological diversity should be left to market forces (the modern equivalent of 'God will know his own').


We now return you to your scheduled programming.
Posted by outeast  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  01:06 AM
I've given up buying strawberries in winter, you buy them because you remember that heavenly taste, you eat them and they taste like dirty rainwater. It's waste of money (and, apparently, hippos tongue rolleye )
Posted by Mikkel  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  02:42 AM
Rage? Quite the opposite. I merely pointed out the IRONY of the situation. Making a point by pointing out the absurdity of the original story - an environmentalist will allow themselves to have their cake and eat it too, as long as nobody else is watching from outside their 'group'... grin (note the smiley - again- NO RAGE)
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  05:26 AM
We had 'out-of-season' strawberries in college, but it was much cheaper to buy the hot-house strawberries grown locally than to have them imported from Kenya. And they were really sweet and juicy. They looked a little different though... hmmm...
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  08:28 AM
Just goes to show how interconnected things are and why it isn't possible simply to withdraw from the world. Of course it would be too much to expect that the Europeans to whom these berries are shipped would forego their fruit to preserve Kenyan water resources. Yet they are the first to rant that we should forego our lifestyle in favor of preservation of resources. Consevation yes, hypocracy no!
Posted by Sam  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  09:26 AM
I live in Florida...15 minutes from Plant City, the U.S' winter strawberry capital. My strawberry eating habits are NOT killing hippos. They supply 1/3 of the entire country's strawberries.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Apr 05, 2006  at  09:55 PM
...Our winter strawberries are red. (I just re-read some other posts...) Apparently, these may not be the same sort of strawberries.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  11:23 AM
So, by not liking strawberries I'm doing my part to save the hippos. No wonder I'm so smug. wink
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  11:53 AM
All lakes eventually become fields. They fill with silt and dead things until they flatten out. The hippos were doomed from the beginning. Either that or they will go to another water source like they have been for the past...since hippos existed.
Posted by Tigerpounce  in  Texas  on  Thu Apr 27, 2006  at  02:48 PM
Sorry, but for those of you ignorant enough to keep cursing the 'greenies' for helping to save the Earth, please just stop talking. Because you have no idea what a difference we make just by standing up for what we believe will benefit us all in the future.

Please understand that we're not all like PETA or Greenpeace, and that some of us stand up for animals for religious reasons, or even just because it's common sense to care for other living creatures. Going out of your way to insult environmental activists is a waste of your time and effort.
Posted by Clare  in  Buffalo NY  on  Tue Feb 20, 2007  at  03:45 PM
I understandd all of this alsweell,
butt have any of you thought about ourr health? If we didn't eat strawberries in the winter, then we couldd get really ill. i have nothing against hippo's butt we are at the top of the fooodd chain, and we are the dominatingg species. grin
Posted by LorieeRozzaX  in  England  on  Sat Feb 13, 2010  at  10:12 AM
OHH, and if you are being ABOUT greenies, than just stop ok? They are who they are, and actually, without them , we woulddd be in desire need right now. So Just Stop And think before you comment.
Posted by LorieeRozzaX  in  England  on  Sat Feb 13, 2010  at  10:14 AM
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