A summer without strawberries would be a sad summer for many. The red sweeties are just as much a part of it as fries are to a visit to the outdoor pool. But summer is not yet and most outdoor pools are still closed – only the strawberries have already made it to the supermarkets as the first harbingers of warmer times. Is it worth buying? Ökotest reports abdominal pain – this is not only due to pesticides.

Strawberries, which can be bought in Germany in April, have mostly ripened under the sun of southern Spain and of all places in Huelva in Andalusia, where water is a very rare commodity. Strawberries are thirsty. The WWF measures water consumption at around 300 liters per kilo. In addition, there are poor working conditions in the fields.

“Human rights count for little in Spanish strawberry fields,” writes Ökotest, referring to information from the “Human Rights Impact Assessment”. On top of that, the strawberries have to travel thousands of kilometers before they make it to Germany. Ökotest therefore says: “It is better to only enjoy strawberries in the early season as an exception, because they carry a heavy ecological backpack.”

If you still have a craving for the fruit, the testers can at least recommend the ones from Edeka Bio (7.98 euros/500 grams) and Rewe Bio (4.98 euros). Both are of good quality. A total of ten different strawberry offers without and four with the organic seal were tested. The result is sobering. In the case of non-organic strawberries, only the cheap fruits from Lidl are “satisfactory”, for 2.99 euros there are 500 grams.

The remaining conventional products are “sufficient” at best, two just “poor”. And two products fail the test completely. At the bottom of the tableau are Norma’s strawberries. The testers found seven different pesticides here. There were four for the strawberries from Aldi Nord. Both products are therefore “unsatisfactory”.

Does looking at the price tag help to distinguish good strawberries from those contaminated with pesticides? Rather not. Because two expensive organic products are the test winners in the comparison, but the other two competing products from this category are comparably expensive, but the quality is only “satisfactory” or “sufficient” – and therefore no better than many cheap strawberries.

You can find the complete comparison at oekotest.de