With recent record breaking levels of Atmospheric CO2 gas over 400 ppm in our atmosphere, and with every grocery chain retailer claiming to be going "GREEN", it's time to hold them accountable and have them stop using CO2 on the berries & vegetables we purchase. There are alternative methods that do not use CO2.
The practice of shipping berries from California, Mexico and Florida includes pumping high amounts of manmade CO2 into enclosed pallets and then releasing the gas into the atmosphere upon arrival at retailers' distribution centers. It is also known that the CO2 used on other fruits and vegetables shipped in ocean containers from North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, is released at their destination ports around the world.
This heat trapping greenhouse gas now becomes part of the list of contributing factors to increase atmospheric levels. These high levels of CO2 are causing some of the planet's largest issues from global warming to extreme high sea levels, seasons are shifting, stronger storms, droughts, melting polar ice caps and the destruction of coral reefs. Some believe that CO2 is a harmless gas and any excess is naturally absorbed. This is simply not true. The excess gas remains trapped in the atmosphere, and as a consequence, according to scientists atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in millions of years.
Grocery chains must be held accountable. Everywhere you look, they claim to be "Going Green". Man-made CO2 emissions upset the natural balance of the carbon cycle, hardly a "green" practice. Our organization questioned Cal Giant, a California strawberry grower, if they used CO2 on strawberries, and they informed us that retailers request this transportation method. If retailers or grocery chains stop requesting the use of CO2 gas on berries from companies that include but are not limited to Driscolls, Dole, Naturipe, Well pict and California Giant, then these berry growers will have to find alternatives. This transportation method omits millions of pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere each year just from berry shipments. The amount of CO2 that is released from ocean container shipments is not known, however, it is probable to be in the millions of pounds yearly also. It's time for it to STOP, and grocery chains need to be responsible for the environmental damage they are causing.
After investigating the use of CO2 on berries, these US and Canadian grocery chains listed below are some that are guilty of requesting CO2 for transporting from California, Mexico and Florida:
Wal-Mart, Kroger, Sam's Club, Safeway, Supervalu, Loblaws,
Costco, Stop n Shop, Publix, Trader Joes, Sobeys
Ocean containers using CO2 for shipping fruits and vegetables coming from Chile, Argentina, Europe and Africa shipped around the world also should be stopped. The gasses are released immediately after opening the container doors.
Our goal is to bring awareness of this ongoing practice. Not only is man-made CO2 gas bad for our environment, it can be an asphyxiation safety hazard to employees. We strongly urge our supporters to contact their local grocery retailers and show their support for going "CO2 free". Insist that your retailers stop purchasing gassed berries and other fruits and vegetables. If we don't act now, climate change will rapidly alter the lands and waters we all depend upon for survival, leaving our children and grandchildren with a very difficult world!