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The secret behind Japan’s wintry strawberries

Strawberry shortcake. Strawberry mochi. Strawberries a la mode.

These may sound like summertime delights. But in Japan, the strawberry crop peaks in wintertime — a chilly season of picture-perfect berries, the most immaculate ones selling for tens of thousands of yen apiece to be given as special gifts.

Japan’s strawberries come with an environmental toll. To re-create an artificial spring in the winter months, farmers grow their out-of-season delicacies in huge greenhouses heated with giant, gas-guzzling heaters.

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