Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holy Guacamole!

Holy Guacamole!

Hot Time in the City

To be brutally honest, when I first heard that most of Los Angeles was burning, my main concern was that the I was going to have to work in this shitty air quality. I didn't care much when the news reports focused on Rob Lowe saving people in Santa Barbara. Ok, that's a lie. I did. I plan on eventually owning a couple of acres there and enjoy some wine. Then the fire was far away. Now if you've looked outside, you'd see a wave of smoke come in making this afternoon look like sun down. I can hardly breath and I smell like smoke. I have gone to the Newhall pass plenty of times and have hiked in that area. I've enjoyed my time in nature there and seeing that on fire reminded me how bad Griffith Park still looks more than a year after it was caught up in the fire season.

The Santa Barbara fire was just the beginning and soon wild fires started popping up in Santa Clarita, Yorba Linda and the choas looks to stretch its chaos down to Corona. 4 fires so far. Some man made, others just another case of a dry weather conditions even in this winter time. All you need is some strange weather like that and a gust of the Santa Ana winds and you have trouble. The effects of these fires will hit the air quality for some time. Making outdoor activities troublesome for the days to come. As if we hadn't heard enough jokes about the smog. This reminds me of an older blog I wrote about a massive fire that over took most of San Diego the last time the massive amount of fires hit. Since I'm pressed for time, here's a little snippet from my observations the last time.

Many worry about the homes lost. That's all fair and right to think about. But how is this fire going to effect the next time you are at Chipotle or Baja Fresh asking for you big burrito with all the fixings.

From the Associated Press:

SAN DIEGO - If guacamole prices are higher when the Super Bowl rolls around in February, blame the fires in Southern California.

More than 20,000 acres of avocado trees in northern San Diego County have been lost, at least a third of the state's crop, with another 15,000 acres threatened by flames, emergency officials said.

State farmers usually plant about 62,000 acres of avocados, and the industry is worth about $276 million annually, said state Department of Agriculture spokesman Jay Van Rein.

"If they can survive the fire, they can still harvest later," Van Rein said.

But if trees are lost, growers will have to replant orchards and wait years to harvest.

Holy Crap! California is the top avocado producer with about 84% of the nation's production and San Diego County has a third to half of the state's 60,000 avocado acres and a good amount of those were effected by the fires. To be fair, this isn't just Avocados that are screwed. Other agriculture in the fire areas includes citrus groves, egg farms, and plant nurseries. But let's face it, most food establishments don't charge extra if you get that on the side. The fact that with so many avocado crops effected by this, it will have a ripple effect in the replanting stages that will last at least a few years before it's back to normal.

You can expect the price of Avocados will increase some within the next couple of months. I'm sure some guacamole makers wont feel the effects of this, Kraft, for example, is not sweating this at all. What with a whole 2% of actual avocado in their guacamole dip...

California Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming Kraft's Guacamole Dip Doesn't Contain Enough Avocado

A fraud lawsuit filed Wednesday against Kraft Foods, Inc., by a Los Angeles woman who claims the company's avocado dip doesn't qualify as guacamole.

"It just didn't taste avocadoey," said Brenda Lifsey, who used Kraft Dips Guacamole in a three-layer dip last year. "I looked at the ingredients and found there was almost no avocado in it."

She is seeking unspecified damages and a Superior Court order barring Kraft from calling its dip guacamole. Her suit seeks class-action status.

The Kraft product contains modified food starch, coconut and soybean oils, corn syrup and food coloring. It is less than 2 percent avocado which in traditional recipes is the main ingredient of the Mexican dish.

The government doesn't have any requirements on how much avocado a product must contain to be labeled guacamole, said Michael Herndon, a spokesman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

With all that said, I think it's time to actually get to know and understand a little more on what exactly gets mashed up and turned into guacamole to be served on the side of your tacos, on top of your nachos and just about any other meal you've ever eaten in Los Angeles. Because, let's be honest here, what [insert culture] fusion based meal didn't come prepared with some sort of avocado?

Better know your Fruit

Generic royalty-free photos of avocados can make a generic royalty-free article seem magical. Also nobody reads this stuff unless there are pictures.
Avocado Farmers are a lazy lot. They will tell you that themselves if you've ever talked to one at a farmers market. 90 percent of avocado farming is water. All you have to be able to do is turn the water off and on. No pruning and trimming, as with citrus and other fruit crops; no plowing, preparing the ground and weeding, as with row crops. The water is on an automatic timer, so if you can do that, you can be an avocado farmer. The other 10 percent is fertilizers, and that's tossed into the water system if you don't spread it out by hand. If you've read this far, I question your sanity, which I will do so by typing out more Avocado facts.

The Avocado is a fruit. Yes, that's right. I said fruit. My little subject header didn't lie! It's a fruit and not a vegetable. It belongs to the genus Persea in the Lauraceae family. Which is why in a city full of fruits, nuts and flakes it fits in so well.

Avocados are a very forgiving crop. They don't begin to ripen until you pick them. Depending on the type of avocado, it may not change colors as it ripens. They all bruise, though the types that turn dark as they ripen, like Whitney Houston, hide bruises well.

There are seven varieties of avocados grown commercially in California, but the Hass is the most popular, accounting for approximately 95% of the total crop volume. The other forgotten bastards are Fuerte, Gwen, Pinkerton, Reed, Zutano. The other two are a mystery that you need to join a secret society to learn about.

Avocado is a corruption of the Spanish word aguacate, which is in turn a corruption of the Aztec word ahuacatl. And they said that those four years of Chicano Studies didn't pay off?

Brazilians add avocados to ice cream. Which is why we came up we relate the word Bizarre with strange.

California avocados grow year-round. The harvest time, especially for Hass avocados, is about 11 months out of the year.

The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because... alligators... like pears apprantely.

About 43% of all U.S. households buy avocados. the other 56% buy Kraft's guacamole dip and watch Nascar all day.

Spanish conquistadors discovered that avocado seeds yield a milky fluid that turns red when exposed to air. They used this indelible natural ink to write what would become the first version of a blog.

Brown spots on avocados mean the avocados are reaching their peak of flavor. Most people discard it as the fruit gone bad or something. FOOLS! YOUR TRASH = MY TREASURE!

So now you know a little more about Avocados and question my sanity a little more for writing so much about Avocados when there is wild fires to be discussed. Perhaps now when you're asked if you want some guacamole on the side of whatever cheap Mexican food you are buying, you'll think of me. Either that or you'll wonder why the fuck it cost a buck more to get a spoon full of a mashed up fruit. If anything this should encourage you to splurge a little more and get the side of it. Not only will you be helping yourself to a better meal, but you'll be putting some money into the pockets of California's agriculture. And with all the damaged done by the fires, this is when they'll need it the most.

And with that, I conclude a very lazy blog. Not only did I get to write a bit about a current event... using an older pre-written blog, but I got to highlight my insanity. Score one for the giper. For those of you in the line of fire, please be safe. For all of you that have to work or live with the smoke around. Limit your mobility, stay indoors as much as possible.

Stay safe People.

No comments: