Fresh as a chemically-treated flower

Marketplace Staff Feb 14, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: Today’s the biggest day of the year for the fresh-cut flower business.A lot of those flowers come into the U.S. from Ecuador and Colombia at Miami’s airport. From our Americas Desk at WLRN, Dan Grech reports.

DAN GRECH: In the flower business, it takes just one bad rose to spoil the bunch.

Gustavo Jaramillo imports and distributes fresh cut flowers. He says the Department of Agriculture does a thorough inspection for bugs.

GUSTAVO JARAMILLO: If they find something they don’t like, they have instructions to incinerate the whole shipment.

Growers are wise to this. They spray their flowers with chemicals before shipping them to the U.S., so it’s rare to find an infected lot.

JARAMILLO: Once every 350 shipments, so it’s not a very common occurrence.

But those chemicals are something to consider when stop and smell your next rose.

In Miami, I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

JAGOW: There is an alternative: Flowers sold with the VeriFlora logo are grown without pesticides. Why does Valentine’s Day have to be so complicated? I’m Scott Jagow in Los Angeles. Just enjoy the day.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.