Monday, April 26, 2010

The Mango Scandal

I used to looove mango as a child. The sweet-sour orange fruitiness with a slight flavor of cedars, could there be any better fruit?! When my mom brought them home on summer days I didn't know where they came from. Today I do and as a consequence I don't buy them anymore.
I was skyping with one of my friends from one of the biggest mango-growing countries, India, just the other day. She is a very sweet girl from Pune. Two years ago when I visited her and her husband they told me about the mango season. The fresh Indian mango is nothing like the unripe green desaster we get in the supermarkets here. They were talking about the quality of their mango with dreamy eyes, in short, they absolutely made my mouth water.
But then they told me that the best mangoes never reach the Indian people. They are shipped to the international markets right away.
Now, two years later, things have gotten worse. It is mango season right now and my friend told me they've had a single mango and only because someone has given it to them. The price of mango is so high that she simply can't afford anymore - and she belongs to the Indian middle class. The wikipedia entry listing uses of mango in Indian and Pakistani cuisine stretches three paragraphs. How will that work when no one can afford them anymore?
I told her that I don't buy mango in Germany, though I love them, as they are either unripe or brought by plane, which is environmentally insane. I didn't dare telling her how many mangoes I see rotting in our supermarkets until noone wants them anymore...
That's a downside of globalization.
What do you think? Can we make a change buy responsible shopping or are we helping the markets of the country of origin by buying tropic fruit? Which fruit are "exotic" in your country? Do you buy it?

1 comment:

Fi said...

Thats really bad to hear that. My boyfriend has traveled in Asia and he also told me that the mangos we eat here have nothing to do with the fresh mangos you get in Asia. Butthat they cannot buy mangos anymore because they got so expencive thats so wrong. This is a good convincer for me not to buy mangos anymore.

Thanks for your insights