….Shakespeare (sort of). Well, possibly not if you look into it. I never thought to question old Shakespeare, well not his validity anyway. Some questions around his use of language would have been helpful during high school, but none the less, I figured they were his words. I was most unfortunately advised by family this past Christmas that Shakespeare could have in fact been a front for the ‘real’ author of these tragedies, a nobleman of sorts, for which writing at the time was not a seen as an appropriate hobby. (What rock have I been hiding under???) Shame really. I hear Shakespeare himself was a great producer, but truth be told I never saw his plays!
The crying shame in point here however is the mango. The iconic Australian mango.
Would a mango by any other name taste as sweet?
The answer here is a definite, indisputable, YES. You’d call it an ORGANIC mango!!
Does this picture make your mouth-water?
The early morning sunshine tickles across the deck, lighting up the humble mango to glow proudly on the plate. The fragile and barely firm skin, which though strong, exudes a pliable vulnerability.
Bring it up to your nose and the smell is like summer, hints of holidays, of inescapable heat (though maybe not this past month!), and sticky sweet laughter, bathing suits, play pools in the yard, green grass and matted messy wet hair.
You slice through and release each cheek from the pip, the bright orange yellow flesh threatening its drips, in a call to arms for ants near and far.
The flesh is scored, that delightful checkerboard that will be popped inside out thrusting the juicy soft squares into the glorious golden sunlight that it reflects.
And as I raise the soft, moist cheek to mine, the sugary juice coats my lips, the sweetness touches my tongue, the nectar begins its slow slide down my fingers, and the unmistakable taste of glory is, is….
NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!!!
Tasteless would be one thing, and tasteless this mango definitely is, but the most disturbing part for me is that faint, background taste that is astringent, almost mineral-ly to some degree and has me scrunching my face in disbelief. I am imagining this?? How could a mango taste so wrong?? Yes there is a hint of sweetness, but it more closely resembles the feeling that someone has dropped an artificial sweetener in here, I don’t think my body is even registering the ‘brain-happy’ that comes with a little pure sugar rush!!!
There is absolutely nothing in the taste of this mango that even remotely resembles a mango. To make matters worse that subtle after taste is now registering as a ‘do not continue consuming this food stuff’ feeling and the bare hint of chemical aftertaste is becoming apparent!!!
Now call me crazy if you like, perhaps I’ve been indulged and spoilt for a little too long, but with one sister who ONLY eats organic produce, and myself living in far north Queensland and eating almost completely organic, I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is something really wrong here. And my heart sinks as I wonder if this is what kids these days think a mango really tastes like!!
Last night I went up to my grandmothers house with my Mum, my grandmother passed away last month and we had been in the house earlier and had left a light on. When we went back to turn it off I flicked on her bedside radio to see which channel she listened to. I have memories of sleeping over as a child and listening to talk-back radio as I was (trying) to drift off!!
So I turned it on and Rosemary Stanton was being interviewed. She just happened to be talking about eating fruit!! She mentioned that the average Australian eats less than one piece of fruit a day, and to promote optimum health we should all be eating at least two pieces of fruit a day!!
Now I trained as a Naturopath many moons ago and am more than aware of the health benefits associated with a fresh whole-foods diet. It was for many years a challenge even for me to get in two pieces of fruit a day because I had never really been a ‘fruit’ person. One piece and I would feel good, that elusive second piece would have me heading my own cheer squad!!! I eat vegetables by the truck load though and consume much more than the five pieces a day recommendation, fruit for me has only more recently begun to feature as a diet staple.
So I get it. But then I pause… if this is what fruit tastes like these days, and lets face it, fruit has generally a high water content, which means that many of the chemicals that it comes into contact with are going to be present (if only in residual amounts) within this water(!!!) it’s no wonder that people aren’t eating two pieces of fruit a day! I wouldn’t eat two objects that tasted like this EVER, certainly not in one day, every day!!!
That said, I eat organic or local, and local to the point where I can ask the farmers how they grow them. I can talk to the person that grew them. I can find out where they are grown, under what conditions, chat about how last weeks weather affected not only my own garden but also theirs and the food that I’m now buying. I can ask if they spray their crops, and if so with what???
I think these questions are important, as I for one certainly don’t want to be the end point of the industrial revolution science-experiment with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, growth promoters and the like. I also do NOT under any circumstances want to play any role in the current game of GM roulette! (Do you know that heirloom canola is now extinct as a species thanks to the over-run of GM canola?? And it’s nearly impossible now to guarantee that any soy crop is not contaminated with some GM soy???) Where does this insanity end???
I personally do not want a repeat of this mornings mango experience, and whilst I understand that buying organic is out of the realms of financial viability for some, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend trying to increase your intake of organic fruit and vegetables at least in some way.
Growing your own food is a fantastic way to start taking control over what enters your temple! It’s fun, in many ways can be very simple to begin and if you have kids it’s a great way to interact and learn together! Forgoing that, start asking questions, ask your greengrocer where things are coming from. Find a local fruit market, find a local farmers markets, find a local organic store and ask them if they supply fresh produce. It can be more affordable than you think.
There are organic home-delivery box systems around the place that you can sign up to and you will receive a regular bounty of deliciousness and health delivered right to your door!!! And it can be SO much cheaper than buying your organic produce from one of the big supermarket chains!!!!
And don’t be worried that you don’t know what’s arriving each week, take it as an opportunity to explore seasonal produce with your family. If there’s an ingredient you’ve never tried before look up a recipe online, better yet try it raw!! Revel in the experience of getting personal with your food! Look up the nutritional value, look up how and where it’s grown, LEARN about your food.
It’s not natural that apples are available all year round! We should be supporting Australian farmers before they all disappear. (At the rate we’re going Australian farming could be all but a memory in the next 15years!!!!)
If you’re having trouble finding resources drop me a line and we’ll see what we can find together!
Happy ORGANIC Mango Season!!! May the sun shine brightly on your bounty!! X