sound more like something out of science fiction than real life but apparently watermelons are exploding in China. The cause has been put down to the overuse of a chemical designed to increase the growth rate of the watermelons.
I am waiting for my father to read the same article in the paper and for him then to repeat his demand that I do not buy food which is sourced from China. He has been to China and seen for himself how food is grown there.
I have another friend who went to teach at the university in Kunming. The university there trains medical students. Knowing something about nutrition would seem a necessity but she found the students were being fed on a diet of rice, cabbage and fish from the local lake. Other vegetables appeared in small quantities. She ate the fish until she realised that raw sewage was flowing into the lake in which the fish were caught. There was very little she could do about the vegetables or the rice but she was aware that the way in which they were grown left much to be desired by our standards.
China has since had the infamous "melamine in milk" episode and other cases of poisoning arising directly out of food production rather than food preparation. Corruption may be part of the problem but another part of the problem is the need to feed a vast population while also exporting the best of what they grow to the rest of the world. The best of what they grow however does not match the best of what we grow in Australia or what we could grow in Australia.
Although it is almost winter here my father still has pumpkin, shallots, lettuce, capsicum and other things growing. The fruit on the grapefruit tree is ripening although the cumquats are still very green. He has planted winter peas, spinach and broad beans.
Yesterday my father brought in a small container half-filled with what must surely be almost the last of our cherry tomatoes. The plants have been producing fruit since mid-January. Our water consumption is on the low side for two people.
Yes, it all takes time and thought but my father is still happy to give both - and there are no exploding watermelons.