Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Thoughts on a cashew nut
When you open that packet of cashew nuts and nibble away or toss one nonchalantly into your mouth as you drink and gin and tonic, do you think about where that nut came from and what process it went through before yielding its pleasures to you?
So, here is a cashew nut as it is on the tree. The nut itself hangs below the pod that sustains it. Each pod produces one cashew nut so a lot of picking has to happen first. The nuts are taken often to small processing plants...and by that I mean one room where women work together in hot airless conditions de-husking the nuts, soaking them in water, drying and sorting them before they go to wholesalers. It's a long labourious, poorly paid process, but it provides a living of sorts.
A lot of money is made from the nuts but not by the farmers or women workers. But that is nothing new. Just another example of the gross inequalities of a system designed and controlled by the powerful West to feed the already well-fed.
So, next time you enjoy that cashew nut think of how it got to you before it delivers its delicious taste and disappears in a few masticatory moments into your stomach.
We should all think a lot more about where things come from and how they get to us. Don'tcha think?