Ah, nothing like a juicy pear… Yum!
But…Glancing through the news one morning last week I spied a story about pear growers in Australia. They are, according to this report, suffering financial loss due to the low price they are receiving for their pears. Some pear-growing farmers are under severe financial stress this season, with mounting debts - and others are barely breaking even.
The article particularly caught my attention as I had just eaten a most delicious pear for breakfast. In fact I had eaten at least one delicious pear every day for a couple of weeks.
It was not only the cheap price of the pears that had attracted me and led to my purchases (and here I now feel a sense of guilt) but I have always enjoyed pears and this year the pears seem even tastier, sweeter and juicier than ever.
I must admit that because of their remarkably low prices, I have bought even more than I can eat for breakfast and have stewed a kilogram or two, which I have frozen for later; later, when pear season is over.
Am I one of only a few who love this fruit?
Wake up, people and eat a pear!
Meanwhile, in the forests of Sumatra and Borneo the excessive proliferation of palm oil plantations is causing a huge threat to the existence of not only the stunning Sumatran tigers but also to the beautiful orang-utans.
Palm oil is now the most widely used vegetable oil in the world.
And why? Because multi-national big business snack producers need massive amounts of palm oil for the production of crisps, margarine, ice-cream, instant noodles, chocolate and even shampoo – and, in fact, about half of all packaged food.
Palm oil is valued not only because it’s cheaper than many other oils but its use helps maintain the shelf life of snack foods.
So, obviously it would be in great demand.
How much is an average packet of crisps? Well, a 175 gram pack is about $3.30; a 165 gram pack of Twisties is $4.
Quite expensive for a regular snack - and how healthy are these in your child’s diet?
What about a fresh pear?
At (currently) less than $2 a kilogram, I’m sure a pear is of far more value in every way than a packet of chips.
A kilogram of pears usually gives you at least 5 pears, so at $2 per kg, that’s about 40 cents each.
So, ‘do yourself a favour’ (as someone once said) and swap snack foods for pears and experience the joy of eating a juicy sweet pear while helping the hard-working farmers.
And, by the way, growing fruit trees is far more than planting a few trees and then, later, picking the fruit they produce. It’s bloody hard work!
PS: Yes, I know… I hear you!
Everyone is ‘time poor’ now and no one has the time or patience to cut up a pear, put it on a plate and eat its deliciousness slowly - when it’s so much easier to grab a packet of some sort of snack, gobble it down and toss the wrapper away! (Sigh!)
It seems that the world is in a state half of ‘who cares?’ and half of ‘what a worrying time’. There is so much negativity surrounding current politics and politicians in most countries. I have been prompted to share a poem that appeared on my Face Book page the other day, (already shared by someone else) that seemed to epitomise the latest trend in hopelessness felt towards our world situation.
Here it is:
Pity the Nation
“Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
This poem was written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, an American poet and painter (now aged 99; the owner of the ‘City of Light’ bookstore in San Francisco.
On researching these words, I discovered that not only was that this poem written, not this year, but 11 years ago. What I had imagined to be a comment on the US Trump ‘situation’, was written well before Donald Trump was even on the political radar. (In fact it was when George W. Bush was in office)
But how about this?
‘Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves…’
The other interesting fact (and I should have recognised and known this) was that this Ferlinghetti poem, entitled ‘Pity the Nation’ was an updated (borrowed) version of the like-titled poem, ‘Pity the Nation’ written by the Lebanese/American poet and artist, Kahlil Gibran in his book ‘The Garden of The Prophet’.
It was written sometime in the early 20th century, when a more mild mannered (& behaved!) president was in charge (Calvin Coolidge) so maybe not written about that particular political climate or situation, but aimed more at civilisation in general.
It is well worth reading – and thinking about.
Here it is:
“Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave
and eats a bread it does not harvest.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years
and whose strongmen are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments,
each fragment deeming itself a nation.”
( Kahlil Gibran, ( 1883-1931) The Garden of The Prophet)
Have any words been better suited to NOW?
And…How true is this part?
“Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful...”
And was it ever thus? We can only sigh!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.