Oranges from Far Away

Here I sit, eating an orange. It’s relatively small compared to the big-skinned navels, and it has somewhat smooth skin. It peals easily, though not quite as easily as the little Clementines that are so popular. It tastes pretty good, but isn’t as sweet as some I’ve had over the years. It is seedless. And I mean seedless. I found not one seed in this one, or in the other 3 or 4 of this variety that I purchased a week ago. After having these around the house for 6 or 7 days, I finally glanced at the little plastic sticker on this one. Orange from far away

I’ll let you read it for yourself. Yes, that’s a lion’s head on the right side of the sticker. As far as I know, I had never purchased oranges from South Africa before. Let me emphasize as far as I know. It’s possible that I had purchased oranges from South Africa and just didn’t realize it, or did realize it and forgot it. Based upon recent experience, the latter is a distinct possibility.

At any rate, I’ve been consuming South African oranges for a few days now with little or no negative reactions. They’re not really bad. I can’t tell you how much we paid for them without going back through grocery receipts and I’m not up to that task right now. If I happen to find out in a day or so, I’ll let you know. But perhaps you’re not interested in knowing.

I googled “South African Oranges” and found numerous online articles and Web sites relating to such things. Oranges seem to be a substantial export product for South Africa and they seem also to be a source of pride for the nation.

To be honest, I have to wonder how South African oranges can compete with those from California and Florida. There must be a good economic reason why they are competitive, or otherwise they wouldn’t even be marketed here. This all comes after I’ve read several pieces of late about the advantages of local produce, and how the tranport of produce hundreds of miles makes bad economic as well as nutritional sense. Produce tranported long distances (and in the case of South African oranges, we’re talking thousands of miles) not only can lose nutrition but can also take on inordinate tranportation costs which tend to make the produce so expensive it can’t be sold. That is, unless there is enough demand for the product and no competition.

I don’t mind eating South African oranges. I’d rather eat them in South Africa, but, until I go there, I’ll probably just eat one from time to time in the USA and think about going to South Africa.

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