Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Go mango!

go mango

(I’m a teacher. Don’t worry that’s just for info.)

This week I did some data handling with some classes. Make a graph, that type of thing. We used favourite fruit in three classes.

The nine years olds I talked to made a list of fruits and then voted.

Standard stuff.

The stand out winner with half the class all three times was the mango.

I found this really worrying.

Why?

Well the mango is not native to Europe by a very long way.

The native fruits like apple, pear and even the delicious strawberry got barely a mention in the survey.

Even European fruits like grapes, cherries, melon, orange and mandarin that grow well in Spain and Italy were lagging badly behind.

They had other suggestions and tropical fruits dominated the field.

Now I know that kids eating fruit is important.

But

Tropical fruits fly here to The Netherlands. That’s thousands of air miles with every bite. Local fruit is better for the planet by far.

Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, Nigeria, China and a few others are big mango producers.

I do appreciate that export markets are important for these countries but is it at a cost to local food needs?

When I was nine years old I had never eaten mango. I expect I first had it in my twenties. The only tropical fruit we had was banana and tinned pineapples.

🍎 🍏 🍊 πŸ‹ 🍐 πŸ’ πŸ‡ πŸ“ πŸ‘ 🍈 🍌

There were plums, apricots, apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, pears, gooseberries, brambles, and more.

Having an allotment has also really helped us to eat seasonal, local produce. We now have blueberries, choke berries, pears, apples, plums (well one plum or two) raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, red and black currants and cherries.

All of these are great to collect, simple to grow and great fruits for a healthy diet. They make us very aware of our food and where it comes from.

Although an allotment sounds like a big commitment most of these individual fruits can be grown in a much smaller space too.

I wonder how the mango will fare in the future? Production has doubled in the past thirty years.

Do you try to eat local produce?

Is seasonal food hard to get in your local supermarket?

Are you aware of the way that foods with high air miles are subtly creeping onto our plates?

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22 comments on “Go mango!

  1. jpeggytaylor
    November 16, 2014

    I would agree, this is a worrying trend! I am a keen forager of wild fruit but I do know I am considered ‘weird’ because of this. I believe we need to focus on local produce. Perhaps there is a way of subtly introducing this idea in the classroom?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lizard100
      November 16, 2014

      We sre going foraging today!

      Liked by 2 people

    • lizard100
      November 16, 2014

      It’s very tricky to find ways. There’s so much health and safety these days. Our foraging walk today was great. Several of the things we found grow on our allotment. That’s good. I can stop calling them weeds.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jpeggytaylor
        November 18, 2014

        HA! yes, health and safety is of course an issue. I remember well an incident when our youngest son went on a school walk a few years ago and fed his classmates some wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) leaves … this caused a minor furore when one child mentioned to his mother he’d been eating ‘grass’! Fortunately the parent knew us so realised there was no need to panic, but both she and the school staff were keen to know just what had been consumed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        November 18, 2014

        Thats a cool story. Let tgem eat grass!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ladyofthecakes
    November 16, 2014

    Do they really fly in mangoes? That would cost a packet! I’m convinced they are shipped…

    There are very few mangoes that are any good 😦 Most of what I see here in Spain are those fibrous, hard, tasteless Brazilian ones. I’m sure they have better ones in Brazil, but those most suited to export tend to be the worst ones in terms of taste and texture.

    What could be better than a ripe, seasonal strawberry… drool. We have good grapes here. And cherries πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. disappearingwoman
    November 16, 2014

    My grandparents had an organic apple orchard, so I grew up with a plethora of delicious homegrown apple products that were no further away than my grandparent’s house! They also grew raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Yum!! We grew watermelon and cantaloupes in our garden and had a lovely pear tree, too.
    I love blueberries, as well, they’re grown about four hours away from where I live, so at least that’s not too far away
    My kids love mangoes, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 16, 2014

      That sounds really great to have so much local fruit.

      Like

  4. wscottling
    November 16, 2014

    There are a lot of fruits I can’t eat because of my IBS, but ’round about this time of the year, I LOVE cranberries which are native to the USA. They are ineligible by themselves, but added to other things, or candied and dried… YUM! I also like oranges which are grown all around the USA (but aren’t good for my IBS).

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 16, 2014

      IBS is rotten. But im glad youve found some things that dont aggravate it.

      Like

  5. wscottling
    November 16, 2014

    *inedible

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rambling Woods
    November 17, 2014

    Yes we try to eat local as much as possible… Good point made

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hilda
    November 17, 2014

    I think you know where I stand on this – it is just so sad to think children don’t appreciate the fresh flavour of something that grows nearby. When I lived in Singapore, S.America and India, I consumed all the mangos and other tropical fruit I could, but those we buy in the grocery store here in Canada are not as good as our local apples and peaches etc. At least as a teacher, you can discuss the whole food source problem with your students. I bet they catch on pretty quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      November 18, 2014

      Thing is they don’t. The world is so full of choice without responsibility that any concept of anything else is totally lost. Try to suggest that using a metal spoon is better than plastic and most people don’t understand. Strawberries at Christmas are wrong but people still buy then. Every day that I eat a tomato I’m asked at my job if I grew it myself, whether in January or july.

      Like

  8. Pingback: Roman Life: Lesson 2 | Green Lizard's Blog

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