Flowers for Valentine's Day
It seems odd, but there are calls to "go green" this Valentine's Day.
We thought red was the color of the day. Or at least, the focus on fresh flowers made it a "green" holiday.
But there is increasing concern that the flowers imported to the United States are tainted by the illnesses suffered by the South American workers who harvest them. The crops, primarily from Columbia and Ecuador, are loaded with pesticides.
That's in part because the United States is very concerned about any and all insects that could hitch a ride into this country on those blooms.
In the photo above, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists inspect flowers for any foreign pests or diseases at the Miami International Airport.
More than 272 million cut flower stems pass through the airport, mostly from South American growers, Miami handles about 85 percent of fresh flowers imported into the United States.
So, Americans are urged this holiday to purchase only flowers that are locally grown or grown under organic conditions.