Why Andrew Zimmern Is So Concerned About 2021's Cherry Season

Nothing makes summer complete without grabbing a basket of fresh cherries. The fruit comes into season between May and August across the United States, while sour cherries hit their peak between mid June and August. While these stone fruits help define the taste in summer, things seem dire for the fruit. According to The Seattle Times, a heat wave with an expected peak of 113 degrees Fahrenheit has not only put the Northwest's cherry crop in danger, but it also presents major problems for anyone tasked with the harvest. 

Andrew Zimmern tapped into this sentiment with a recent tweet, reading: "The cherry season is at peak and that timing is scaring me pretty bad for the migrant workers up there in this heat. No heat/shade/water protections for ag workers in WA and OR." The tweet comes as a reply to a similar sentiment sent out from United Farm Workers and many on the social media platform have echoed the concern.

What hazards do cherry pickers face?

Children as young as 12 and elderly agricultural workers currently make up a solid percentage of those who have to face the massive heat wave and don little protection (via Vice). Many have to toil without any form of shade and work well past the point of exhaustion, resulting in increased chances of heatstroke. Workers in this region lack similar legal protective measures found in other parts of the U.S. due to the area's mild climate, prompting lawmakers in Oregon to draft new laws ensuring the rights of agricultural workers in extreme weather conditions. In the meantime, the cherry pickers continue to give it their all as cherries literally shrivel on the trees due to the incredible heat (via The Seattle Times).

With any luck, lawmakers can offer greater protection to this vulnerable group as they continue their work that starts even before the sun rises, per Vice.