Ever asked yourself who picked the apple or the pear you buy in the shop? Ever asked yourself where it came from? To many of us it is normal to have a full choice of fruit in the shop so we are ‘free’ to choose and eventually feel good about it. When I started to consider and to research the other end of the fruit chain the pear I ate started to taste a little bitter.
Besides the seasonal fruit from the area there is a lot of fruit coming from everywhere. What about the fruit that is flown in from China for instance? Sounds crazy if you really consider the fact the fruit you buy is coming from the other side of the globe. In what we call ‘civilized countries’ part of the fruit in the shops is Made in China! This tells me that the price paid at the source has to be very low since the transportation and the wholesale part of the final price is quite big.
If you start surfing on the internet you’ll find an enormous variety of fruit picking job offers. Some as normal seasonal jobs, many disguised as nice holiday activities even as backpacking destinations in countries around the globe. They are advertised as nice jobs where you can make a lot of money. Reading a couple of forums gives a different picture and stresses on what fruit picking really is. This sentence comes from one of these forums: “Working in orchards is backbreaking menial labor. That is why most of the work in the fruit industry in the US (and increasingly Canada) is done by transient Latin Americans who are happy with any work.”
This brings me to the point of money. Fruit picking is a labour intensive activity that is mostly done by low wage working force that is happy with the little money they get so they can survive in our actual capitalistic world system. “Who cares” you could say, “everybody is happy, ‘they’ make some money where else they would starve and we can buy relatively cheap fruit in our shops.”
Let me question the point of ‘us’ in the rich part of the globe having the luxury to choose from all kinds of fruit coming from all over the planet to our shop. Is there a real need? Is it to give us a feeling we have a wider choice so we can feel happy? Could be. Are we still happy if we consider the fruit picker doing all the hard work for a wage that is just enough to survive? And what if we consider the trading system that is squeezing the farmers to sell for the lowest price and selling it again for the highest possible price to the retailers? And do not forget all the energy used for the transportation, often refrigerated, of millions of tons of fruit, from producer to consumer.
When I started to consider all these points the fruit I bought started to taste bitter. What is wrong with the apples from the nearby countryside? And what is wrong about not eating apples when it isn’t the right season? Like many other facts in our daily life this is a situation of abuse that, even though we are not agreeing with it, we support and accept by keeping on buying our exotic fruit. This suggests that if we start buying only local produce or fruit that has ben picked by people that have been properly paid for it, we can stop eventually this abusive fruit trade.
Applying this in practical life is not easy since the whole system we live in is working the same way as the fruit industry. The whole trade is based on maximizing profit and is not taking into account long term sustainability, decent compensation for farmers and who has to do the labor. If we stop consuming all goods that are ‘unethical’ we probably will starve or have at least troubles in getting enough food.
Is it possible to switch to a more local based economy? In theory yes, the reason why we have seen the opposite happening is because the trading of goods made it more attractive for producers to specialize on a product instead of keeping a variety of products. Again, focussing on the highest possible profit. Why? Because we need money to ‘buy’ a decent life and if possible even more than just decent. We are raised as consumers and we ‘need’ to own a house, a car, all kind of equipment. Not because we need it to live a decent life but to feel good and eventually better that others that are not managing to reach the same levels of wealth.
Again we can look at the consequences of the wealth we see as a standard in our western
democracy consumeristic society. If we look at the total equation of what the standards we live in are causing at the other end of the balance we see there is no balance at all. There is only abuse. In order to live our life’s the way we do now, other humans are suffering and struggle every day to survive.
We are running towards a global crash of the actual economic system. Bailout after bailout we see no changes, it only gets worse and we made enough debts to ensure the grandchildren of our grandchildren a heavy tax burden. Every day we keep on accepting and allowing our actual system we are worsening this situation of inequality and total lack of respect to life itself.
So, what is the solution? A system that starts from a point of equality for all. Only when life will be seen as a fundamental right for every living being on earth in total equality, so no difference between you and me, we can start to build a real sustainable system where money is not anymore a tool for power and available to the happy few but a fundamental right that stands for life. This system exists and is called the Equal Money System. Since it is the only system considering equality for all it is sustainable for ever and a way to end the hell we are now living in on earth.
Before a system like Equal Money can be implemented we need to change as humans. The only way to do so is to stop blaming others and take our own responsibilities for everything we do and say. This goes much further than you might think. It implies you take responsibility for the fruit you buy in the shop, considering the consequences of you buying it and therefore supporting an abusive system. It implies taking self responsibility for all you think, say and do. There is no other way to start a real change in this world than by changing yourself and being a living example to others.
If you are ready to take the step, visit the site of Desteni to find a lot of fascinating and revealing information about the world we are all part of. You can go a step further and start using the tools to develop yourself, supplied with the DIP courses. To see who already is in the process of change for an equal world you can visit the Destonians site and for your questions visit the Wiki.