Alternative title: How does the weather affect diet?
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a race of people who were very content with their lot in life.
They lived an idyllic lifestyle – with weather like Florida, health like Sweden and no boisterous or unstable neighbouring countries to upset the overall calmness. But this country was a little different to the places most people are familiar with. In this place the cars drive on the left side of the road. In this place water goes down the plughole (and the toilet) the opposite way to what you are used to seeing. Welcome to Australia.
And unfortunately, just like Florida this wondrous place is prone to occasional outbursts of overzealous weather. Except the really scary weather also spins the other way, and if you spell hurricane backwards you get cyclone.
Let’s meet Tropical Cyclone Larry. Over a 5 day period in late March 2006 TC Larry crossed the coast 1300km (800mi) from where I live. It should have had little or no impact on my life. I live so far away from the action that I didn’t even see any significant changes in the weather here. I don’t have relatives in the trouble zone. There was nothing to worry about.
This may seem like a complete change of topic, but hang in there:
I’m an old-school bike rider. I haven’t succumbed to the siren song of protein bars and carbohydrate gels. When I’m on the bike for more than 2 hours my nutrition comes from Coke, Mars bars and bananas. Sugar, caffeine, potassium – what more could an athlete want.
Except now I’ve had to change my tactics. Cyclone Larry saw to that.
Have a look at this photo.
That’s my banana supply laying flat on the ground. 80% of Australia’s banana crops come from that region. Or rather, came from that region.
I was vaguely aware of the mechanics of supply and demand before this event. For the past 6 months I’ve been on the nasty end of that most painful of consumerism concepts.
Before the cyclone bananas were available at every grocery store for around $2 per kilogram (US$1 per pound). All that’s gone now. These days it’s a lottery whether the stores even have bananas and now they’re retailing for between $10 and $12 per kilogram (US$3.50-4 per pound). That’s a similar price to gourmet shellfish.
Here was today’s shopping expedition…
What you’re seeing is the 2 bananas I bought and the receipt from the store. $3.39 for 2 bananas. $1.70 each (US$1.25). By comparison, I also bought 13 apples and they charged out at 45¢ each.
I hate supply and demand.