Whether it is beef, chocolate, yogurt or avocado, some sort of growing, nutritional, political or marketing tale can be told.
Some stories are more tangential than others. Witness the article in today’s New York Times about the dwindling number of coconut pluckers in Kerala, a southern state in India.
India’s huge coconut industry depends on the pluckers to climb trees and harvest coconuts by hand. It is a dangerous—but well-paying—job that traditionally was reserved for members of the untouchable caste.
However, times are changing in India:
"The scarcity of coconut pluckers in Kerala illustrates the loosening of the once rigid caste bonds in many parts of India, freeing young people from hereditary jobs.From now on, whenever I teach people how to make a Thai green curry using coconut milk, I’ll think of a coconut plucker scampering up a tree and “slicing the nuts from their stems with a heavy blade he carries tucked into his loincloth.”
Unlike northern states, where caste remains a force and education remains out of reach for many, Kerala has a 100 percent literacy rate, and the shackles of caste are looser than ever."
Click here to read the entire article.