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Mixed imported produce.

Mixed Imported Produce

Near the potatoes, next to onions and wedged between the refrigerated produce and the deli, there it was. Garlic.

Cloves of garlic heaped upon one another like cheerleader trying to do a wave pyramid. Or, just at they were – white bulbous vegetables (if you can call them back) heaped upon one another.

Above them is the sign, “Garlic. Mixed imported produce.”

They were near the oranges, which clearly stated they were Californian. And the apples, which were Australian. And the mangos, which were from some tropical paradise.

But where, where was the garlic from?

What does “mixed imported produce” mean? What country, what continent? Are they from the moon? Are they hand-grown by intelligent slave-labour chimps in the forest of Boronia? Do they come from the moon? Outer space? Just next door to Australia – from our Kiwi counterparts?

It was necessary to know.

It was important to know.

It was almost like the supermarket staff sensed the difficult question they were obliged to answer and there were no “fresh produce” staff around to be sourced.

There was a kind man stocking cereals, however, who wandered the aisles looking for someone else to assist, someone well versed in the particulars of fresh produce origins.

Actually no, that person didn’t exist. Or maybe I was too idealistic in my depiction of him.

He was just a nice man stocking the shelves, very nice man indeed because he recieved my question about the origins of garlic.

“Go to the service desk,” he commanded, looking relieved to go back to the cereals.

To the service desk I went. Finally, another kind-hearted staff member heard my query.

“I’m sorry to bother you but I’d like to know which country the garlic comes from.”

A listening ear was lent and then the query was put on loudspeaker. Well, sort of.

“Fresh produce to service desk.”

Ten or fifteen later, I found out the answer. Yet, as you read this and as I write this – away from the pressing moment of the situation – does it really matter?

Syndicated from Stories of Geelong

It was China.

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