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Strawberries and peanut plants

Strawberries and peanut plants

“Nice poster. What is that red thing there?”. “That now is a strawberry”.

In a country where you have to be careful not to be bombarded by mango’s falling from the omnipresent trees, pineapple and papaya vendors are on every corner of the street and each local eating place sells fresh passion fruit juice, yoghurt has to be in only one fruit flavour: strawberry. And there is only one colour that is this yoghurt should be: bubblegum pink. Awful, if you were to ask for my personal opinion.

Strawberry is not grown in Uganda. For some people who might be regular consumers of strawberry yoghurt, it is even news that strawberry is a fruit. Strawberry yoghurt is made by adding a synthetic flavour and color to the previously so beautiful Yoba yoghurt. If course, from the food safety point of view I do not obstruct against this practice, which is less risky than dealing with real-fruit preparations.

Then, when supporting producers in their marketing by developing posters for their product, I put an attractive picture of a strawberry on the poster. Only to be confronted with the question stated above.
But, my dear western friends, are we any better?

Who of you knows how exactly a banana tree looks like? Or how cotton grows? Or when you eat cassava crisps, do you ever wonder what cassava looks like? Or when you eat peanut butter, would you recognize a peanut-plant? To keep it near to myself: I didn’t, before coming to Uganda.

Nieke Westerik

Nieke Westerik


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