For quite a few years now we have been exhorted to eat five portions of fruit and veg per day.
Whilst sales of fruit and veg have increased it has been shown that the amount of fruit and veg discarded has also increased, but hey, that’s typical of us Brits, you can lead a horse to water and all that.
However Boggartblog has been conducting some research into what really happens to all this veg, but more particularly fruit, that is grown, harvested, transported, washed,. packaged, despatched, displayed, bought, unwrapped and then ultimately left to age, sadly, in a fruit bowl on a sideboard, ignored and occasionally positively shunned by the very people, if you are being pedantic, that brought it into the world in the first place.
Many, many pieces of fruit are sourced from intensive factory farms, where the seedlings are forced using artificial light and irrigation systems. Often the seedlings have insufficient room to grow and spread their branches.
Sadly by the time the seedlings are thinned out, many will have withered and died.
Barely old enough or strong enough to stand unsupported, the young fruit plants and trees are taken from the relative security and warmth of the nursery and planted out on in unprotected fields.
Once established they are force fed fertiliser, accelerating their growth to two and sometimes three times the normal rate.
As soon as they show signs of flowering they are pollinated.
Once the process has started the plants are expected to produce fruit every year, ultimately leading to early onset senility and barrenness, at which point the plants are ruthlessly ripped up and cast aside, to slowly starve to death.
Millions of pieces of fruit start their lives in these appalling conditions.
Many are queueing up to be picked,packed and despatched in the mistaken belief that a better life awaits them in distant countries.
Sadly many pieces of fruit will perish during the journey from branch to shop shelf.
The fruit are transported closely packed in wooden crates. They are often chilled or even frozen. Fruits that have gone bad and mouldy are left in the crates, smelling and rotting, whilst those around them are unable to help.
Once on these shores conditions are little better.
The fruit are sent to packing factories, where they are sorted for size and quality. Families are routinely split up and seperated.
Once sorted the fruit are often placed on polystyrene trays, and in many cases sealed in clingfilm.
Then they are sent out and put on display in brightly lit supermarkets, where shoppers come along and fondle them willy nilly, sometimes poking, sometimes squeezing, sometimes dropping on the floor before throwing back onto the shelf.
Then when they are finally selected, scanned and paid for, they are taken home to be summarily ignored and forgotten, until either a new batch of fruit is brought into the house and they are discarded, or, the homeowners finally notice a funny smell and trace the source to the sad puddle of unrecogniseable mould quietly bio-degrading in the fruit bowl.
Sometimes they are stored in the bottom of the fridge where they slowly revert to the primordial slime from which they pre-historically emerged.
It is no way to treat noble pieces of fruit. Fruit that has served mankind stoically through the ages.
Where would man be without Adam, Eve, the serpent and the apple?
Bacchanalian debauchery would not have been possible without the grapes!
What would the Bells Of St. Clements say if it wasn’t Oranges and Lemons?
Would the most successful female group of the 20th century have made it as Rama without the Banana?
Boggartblog is asking you to help in its project to give fruit a better quality of life.
It won’t cost you anything and will only take a minute of your time but the positive effect it will have on your piece of fruit will fill you with a glowing satisfaction that will last far longer even than an irradiated tomato.
Mr Sally has been pioneering our exciting new project all summer.
The premise is simple:
TAKE A PIECE OF FRUIT OUT FOR THE DAY!
Yes, it is as simple and easy as that.
When you are heading off on a trip, be it work or pleasure, slip a banana on the dasboard, or a peach in change receptacle.
Apples and oranges fit nicely into the drinks holders.
A bunch of grapes will sit quite happily on the back seat, and they don’t squabble like the kids do!
When you come back at the end of the day your piece of fruit will be rejuvenated.
It will have stories to tell the other pieces of fruit about the things it has seen and done.
It will know their is life beyond the fruit bowl and in many cases your little act of kindness will inspire all the pieces of fruit in the fruit bowl to go on to bigger and better things.
They could aim for the compost heap and thus become organic fertiliser, perhaps even one day their pips ending up as a plant or tree themselves, and giving a better start in life to their offspring then they ever dreamed possible.
All it takes is one small act of kindness on your part, but it could make a world of difference to your fruit.