Avocados, Ron Roberts, and religion spur letters

A “large” avocado from California next to an “extra large” avocado from Mexico at a local grocery
  • A “large” avocado from California next to an “extra large” avocado from Mexico at a local grocery
  • Image by Chris Woo

Importing What We Wouldn’t Grow

Related to Don Bauder’s article in the April 14 Reader, (City Lights: “Avocado Prices Plunging”), it makes me wonder if the chemicals that we decided we don’t want to use up here in the U.S. for avocados and produce — either in the fertilizer or in the pesticides or whatnot — is that the reason the Mexican avocados are a larger size than the U.S. avocados sometimes, because of chemical usage?

Maybe that could be a follow-up article, either by Mr. Bauder, or one of the other writers, on the issue of chemicals not use in the U.S., but used south of the border, and then we just go ahead and import those things that we wouldn’t have otherwise grown here with those chemicals.

  • Bruce
  • via voicemail

A Wonderful Substitute for Butter

Don Bauder’s article, “Avocado Prices Plunging,” brings back some fond memories. My parents brought my brothers and sister and me out to California from back east in 1942. When we first got here we stayed in La Mesa for a few weeks, in a house on the top of Grossmont in Madame Schummann-Heink’s old neighborhood with some friends of my father’s who had come here a year or two before.

At the time, there was a war on, and butter was rationed. There was also some stupid law, which I think the Wisconsin dairy farmers got passed, which did not allow oleomargarine to be sold in yellow form, resembling butter. It had to be sold in a white pound block with a little orange packet of dye. My mother had to take this disgusting white block of margarine, put it in a mixing bowl, and mix in the orange dye to get yellow margarine.

The La Mesa neighborhood we lived in had a lot of avocados around, and I remember the brand name was Calavo. I’d never seen an avocado before, nor had my parents. We discovered it was a wonderful substitute for butter, which, as I said, was rationed. And margarine was disgusting. You could spread avocado on a cracker, and it was almost like eating butter on a cracker. Delicious!

To come back to the present time, I noticed from the article that it takes a heck of a lot of water to grow avocados. Well, I’ve been trying to grow avocado trees in my yard for years, and I’ve noticed the same thing: they never amount to anything. They may come into flower, and then they just die off. I guess it’s because I haven’t been pouring buckets of water on them during the day.

Anyway, that was interesting, remembering how we came from back east and discovered avocados during the war. I still love avocados, and my wife does too. She’d never seen one either before she came out here.

  • Name withheld
  • via voicemail

99.999% of Us

Holy crap, Matt Potter! Thanks for letting us know about this puto, Ron Roberts, who sucks SDG&E’s tiny scaly member for the paltry sum of 7500 clams, when the utility is trying to charge you and me $.3.3 billion dollars for the San Onofre abortion.

I don’t know about you, but 99.999% of us had nothing to do with the bad decisions SDG&E and their partner, SDE, made that turned the generating station into a nuclear waste disposal site for the next 10,000 years. But that’s how feces rolls: downhill. That’s some clean technology you saddled San Diego with, you bastards. F.U., Sempra and Ron Roberts!

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Good and Bad Religion

Re: “The Decline of Western Civilization,” Letters, March 31

There are definite laws for physical and mental health, inner peace, and integrity — like a formula. They are the perfume, and we are the sponge.

The Constitution says freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. There is good and bad religion. Misfit politicians legislate against wholesome value systems and insight. There’s destruction, the hedonistic society, crime, mental health, security problems, economic problems, etcetera.

The principle for believers — and nonbelievers — in the Old Testament scripture, 2 Chronicles 7:14, is the idea (and I’m not boosting religion, necessarily) that if the people reject their evil ways, and seek the basis of the laws of health and peace, then a nation will be healed. Everything has its formula, good and bad.

  • Name withheld
  • via voicemail

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My parents were avocado farmers. Avocados need a lot of water but they also need drainage. If you have water but not drainage the tree will not produce nor will it survive. Additionally, avocado tress produce for about 20 years and then begin to die off.

Best bunch of letters to the Reader in quite some time. So far as avocado prices falling, how about large avocados in Bakersfield for $1.29? Each? At times, I can find the small ones on sale, got 'em 5 for $1.00 the other day. Truth be told, from my perspective, Mexican avocados have always been superior to those grown in the Northern climates of the U.S. And one story that will likely never be told is that when Mexico began to export avocados to the U.S., it wrecked the ability of Mexicans to purchase that awesome fruit in their own country because the purchase price became highly prohibitive.

When I arrived in Mexico back in the early '90's, I would go to the local Sobre Ruedas (sort of an open-air market) and buy a large bag of that luscious fruit for an American dollar. Like, maybe two dozen. Now? In Mexico, while still a little less expensive than in the U.S., avocados are now barely affordable for the working class. My, how times change.

While there is no official language in Mexico, obviously they had their Spanish imported and that is the prevalent language there. The word "avocado" is "aquacate" in Mexico. It is actually derived from the Aztecs, their word, "ahuakatl" is the root. I'm going to guess that California began ahuakatl orchards way back when California was Mexico, and I'm going to guess further that the fruit simply doesn't grow large so far away from where it began in Southern Mexico. It isn't worth my time investing in the research, but it seems logical. Even corn tortillas don't taste the same up here, doesn't make any difference that the corn flour is imported.

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