I would like to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Is it as simple as monopoly vs competition in regards to fruit price (which certainly is a factor) or are there other significant contributing factors aswell, of a less positive nature (for example wages of the workers etc etc etc.)?
Fruit in the US is a nice situation in 2011, but I would recommend looking long-term.
It will be interesting to see what happens when more and more countries don't want to touch the US dollar. That means no more importing. All the demand in the world won't sustain buying from overseas when every hard-earned dollar spent is actually borrowed, and puts the country's economy further into debt.
And that the US federal reserve has already used this fruit demand to enslave many third world countries by investing their inflated currency into agricultural infrastructure. As a result, implementing these poor countries into the global banking system and systematically stealing their agriculture for decades to come under the guise of servicing unfathomable debt.
And the hand that picked that cheap piece of fruit is statistically likely to be employed into horrid conditions exploited for their fear of deportation.
Personally, the suffering used to create this situation is the exact reason I stopped eating meat.
As an Aussie, I'm happy to pay a premium for respect to my fellow man.
And unless something changes, it's only a matter of time before many in the US realize the hard way that you can't physically eat money.
As much as I love the US, the idea of it being a fruit paradise is still fighting against nature and I feel nature will win. Best to stick with the equatorial band, where fruit happens with ease, and people don't starve, suffer, and expend resources unsustainably to get the fruit to you.
I don't know if I agree. For ONE thing: organic v. conventional and imports v. local?? I would say most responsible fruit eaters aren't eating conventional nor imports (as much as they can stay away from them) organic because of health and environmental concerns and imports tend to be low quality and environmentally unfriendly (bananas would be the exception, but I would prefer not to eat them due to sustainability concerns).
I am adamant about eating organic (and top quality-- I can't even begin to tell you how many organic farmers have lost my business due to low quality stuff and not caring about it) and probably live in the best place in the US for fruit (san diego, ca) but still find myself eating the same stuff because it's soo hard to find good quality stuff. Of course, I am working on making a food forest right now, so hopefully in a few years I will be eating mostly what I have grown myself (lucky me, white sapote grows wonderfully here and different varieties fruit year round.. high calorie staple, f- yeeah!). Most of my fruit comes from people's yards, picked by ME so that I can actually get ripe stuff. This takes TONS of time and also does not provide year round fruit. You have to be super on the ball to be getting good quality stuff all year. Now, I'm sure this is the case in most places, but the US is not fantasy land if you really care about organic AND top-quality stuff. I'm sure you could always get one or the other, but both is super hard to come by.
And AUS minimum wage is much higher. I dunno what the average income is there, but for me, 25 yo, I make 2,100-2,400/mo. and peoples are floored that I make so MUCH. Between my husband and I, we have easily spent $900+ a month on food if we are not extremely careful (foraging, etc.).
My husband and I both work very hard to afford the life we want... If you want it work for it and create a life that makes your dreams happen. Where there is a will there is a way!
but I can imagine this socio-economical climate would also lead to a few not so constructive side-effects like the constant competing/fighting between people and it seems most people (including myself) live their lives on other peoples behalf (just as america had to 'steal' and conquer their land from the people and cultures who lived their before them, which is true for most countries) and how rich countries often sustain themselves by exploiting poor countries etc.
How many days will that food last you?
And I am assuming there is two jobs between you and your husband?