Category: Society

Think Produce is Expensive Where You Live? How About $1-K for a Small Bunch of Grapes?

Ruby Roman grapes, grown in Japan and Selling for $10,000+ per grape!

Ruby Roman grapes, grown in Japan and Selling for $10,000+ per grape!

I’m fortunate enough to live on the edge one of the world’s great produce-growing regions, California’s vast Central Valley. So I’m sure I’m spoiled by the easy accessibility and relatively low price of many kinds of fruits and vegetables, particularly when I buy fresh and local.

Or maybe the story I just read really is indicative of an outrageous situation…in Japan. The opening paragraphs of the stunning story:

A bunch of grapes has fetched a record price at an auction in Japan, where the fruit is considered a status symbol.

The bunch of about 30 grapes of the Ruby Roman variety sold for 1.1m yen (£8,350) – about £270 a grape. Each grape is roughly the size of a ping pong ball.

FYI, that’s just over $10,000 for 30 admittedly large grapes. Think about that for a moment. Let it roll around in your mind like…well, like a plump, juicy grape rolling around in your mouth.

This, in microcosm, is an example of the largest human-survival problem on the planet: the cost of food distribution is far, far too high. Japan can’t grow many grapes; it’s a country with relatively little arable land per person. Imports cost a ton of money because of shipping costs, refrigeration, spoilage en route and probably another dozen or more factors I’m not thinking of.

Eating locally grown produce is one way each of us can help reduce the problems of starvation around the globe.

I know I don’t want to pay $10,000 for a snack-sized serving of…well…come to think of it…anything!