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!)
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.