01 Feb '12, 1pm

No, that’s not snow: Pesticides coat California’s Central Valley

No, that’s not snow: Pesticides coat California’s Central Valley

“See that, see that?! … Oooh, something is going on. They are spraying tonight.” A large cylindrical truck whooshed past us. I am driving along a state road with Becky, a local activist, who is narrating from behind the wheel. “I once stuck around to see them spray and I had to turn the car around and get out of there, the smell was so overpowering.” We pull over and I hop out to get a close-up look at the orange groves. I am in California’s Central Valley, America’s fruit basket, where agriculture is king. Becky Quintana is waiting patiently in the car for me as I crouch down to inspect an orange tree. The leathery green leaves were splashed with white pesticide residue, like a Jackson Pollack canvas would be. It is early December, close to the holidays, one would be forgiven for mistaking the white splotches that covered the trees for Christmas flocking. But it turns out...

Full article: http://grist.org/industrial-agriculture/no-thats-not-snow...

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