New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Comment >

It all begins with a piece of fruit

*

ONLY those who work in aid organisations or supermarkets truly feel the world. Aid workers live and breathe the needs and aspirations of communities across the globe simply by being there with them; while supermarket workers are in daily contact with their produce, placing it with thanks on English shelves.

By the time the bus stops are restless with the morning rush, I have smelt and felt the five continents. I go around the world in two hours with only vegetables for company. It’s exhilarating stuff.

Where to start? Perhaps in East Africa, the cradle of the world, represented by some fine salad onions from Kenya. But don’t forget South Africa — and, more specifically, their grapes, peaches, and apricots. Back up north, one can find the large and magnificent Egyptian strawberries leaving Cairo for colder climes. They may stop over in Morocco, however, to pick up the organic tenderstems.

We will next leap down to Australia to collect their gorgeous blueberries, now declared “a super food”. Well, at that price, they had better be. But we can’t stay there; so, healthy but poorer, we swim to South America to collect mangoes from Brazil, pineapples from Costa Rica, asparagus spears from Peru, red cherries from Argentina, and avocados from Chile.

We then go completely bananas in St Lucia, gather limes and raspberries in Mexico, and allow the United States to tempt us with that most seductive apple — the Pink Lady. We are also committed Europeans, ever eager for Dutch pears, Portugal’s new potatoes, Spain’s peppers, broccoli florets and organic garlic, Italy’s organic pears, and those crisp green Granny Smiths from France.

But, being religious folk, we pause on the sixth day, and make a special pilgrimage to Israel to ponder the holy sites — and to collect their baby cherry tomatoes.

If the produce comes from England, the packaging tells us both the county and the name of the farmer. So, for instance, Max Howard in Nottinghamshire provides our carrots, Wayne Somers from Somerset our brown-cap mushrooms, and Brian Hepburn from the Highlands our organic parnips. There’s also a farmer called “Hinge” from Kent whose first name doesn’t appear. Why this is, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s deliberate; like Morse, or he may be a man of mystery.

The Band Aid single invites us to feed the world, but the world appears to be feeding us. Another nectarine?

Job of the week

Senior Education and Academies Executive Officer

East Midlands

Diocese of leicester The Diocesan Board of Education St Martins House Peacock Lane Leicester LE1 5PZ The Leicester Diocesan Board of Education Is looklng to appoint two new senior members ...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Where sacred art comes built in

Where sacred art comes built in

When Jonathan Evens set off on a quest to discover 20th-and 21st-century religious art, he found some hidden gems  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Are foodbanks an effective way of dealing with poverty?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

South Sudan: telling it how it is

It's time to launch a pre-emptive strike against further tragedy, writes Rowan Williams  Subscribe to read more

Fri 28 Nov 14 @ 11:00
New issue of the Church Times is out & includes our Christmas books supplement! Subscribe at http://t.co/xWVVDxJcY4 http://t.co/zjVfO2z5bu

Fri 28 Nov 14 @ 10:29
RT @CHBookshopFrom today's @ChurchTimes HUGE #Christmas #Books supplement... find out more at: http://t.co/R2A35QsD5Q http://t.co/txwgmPPsgY