From cereal to ice cream to cocktails, it seems that strawberries are served with just about everything. But it wasn’t always this way. Today, Americans eat four times as many strawberries as they did 40 years ago. This short stop-motion animation explains how clever advertising tactics and certain pesticides helped make the juicy red fruit cheaply and widely available. There are, however, hidden costs to using these chemicals.

Director and Producer: Ariane Wu
Based on reporting by Kendall Taggart, Bernice Yeung and Andrew Donohue
Narrator: Roman Mars
Stop-motion Animator and Video Editor: Ariane Wu
Illustrator and After Effects Artist: Arthur Jones
Music Composer: Jason Kick
Sound Mixer: Christopher Galipo
Consulting Producer: Michael I Schiller
Production Assistant: Rachel de Leon
Executive Producer: Amanda Pike
Editorial Director: Robert Salladay
Executive Director: Robert J. Rosenthal

Archival images and footage courtesy of
U.S. Army
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Sam Hodgson
Library of Congress
© Woman’s Day magazine 1975
© Family Circle magazine 1978
California Strawberry Commission

Additional Music
“Turntable,” written by Jack Trombey
Courtesy of De Wolfe Music

Special thanks to
Virtual Active
Serene Fang

Ariane Wu is Series Producer, Multimedia for The Center for Investigative Reporting. She is passionate about discovering new ways of telling stories visually and through sound. She was previously a Fulbright scholar based in Beijing, as well as a new media fellow at the Asia Society. Ariane holds bachelor’s degrees in film studies and political science from UC Berkeley.