These are indeed miserable times: redundancies, below-inflation pay rises for yet another year for most of those in work, services deteriorating everywhere, NHS being dismantled, education system being turned into Gove’s own personal brainwashing operation, atrocities in Syria, and everything else. Sometimes it is hard to find anything to be cheerful about, apart from the lofty league positions of Crawley Town and West Ham but I found something to feel good about this weekend – fruit.
In the last few weeks I have been eating rather a lot of it. Most days I finish my breakfast with a bowl of Greek yoghurt laden with fruit, and try to have a big bowl as a snack instead of crisps or chocolate. Today I had sliced a banana into a bowl and added clementine segments, grapes, raspberries and pineapple and it struck me what an unnatural thing that is.
I have been trying not to feel guilty about how many foodmiles are involved, but couldn’t help thinking about the logistics involved in being able to have raspberries in winter as well as exotics like banana and pineapple. I think we take it for granted a lot of the time, but it wasn’t that long ago that even seeing a banana in Britain was a major event. Not for me, but I’m sure many people in my parents’ generation would have got into their teens before even tasting banana.
A small consolation maybe, but it is worth spending a moment before eating to contemplate on how the food arrived on the table, and how many people were involved in getting it there.