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How Afghanistan's grapes will help defeat wrath, in a climate-friendly way

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Shanta Barley | 09:28 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

Afghanistan is poised to become a major exporter of fruits, ranging from pomegranates to melons to Kunduz strawberries, according to the Spectator.

The more Helmand grapes we can stuff down our throats the more rapidly Afghanistan will wean itself off 'submission to the Taleban and economic dependency on opium,' says Elliot Wilson.

What a shame that we're all supposed to be eating local fruit that doesn't need to be flown to the UK on greenhouse gas-emitting planes to stop climate change.

Well actually, there is a way to eat Helmand grapes without feeling too guilty, scientists say.

Assuming the fruit has been grown using nothing more than the sun's heat, picked by humans and flown to the UK, there's still a good chance that they are responsible for fewer emissions than grapes that have been grown out of season in a heated greenhouse in Britain, heavily fertilised, harvested using fuel-thirsty machinery and stored for months in fridges.

Comments

  • 1. At 11:33am on 08 Jun 2009, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Please don't talk about grapes when any minute now we all get burned up when the sun goes supernova

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  • 2. At 1:57pm on 09 Jun 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    mmmmmm, more wine

    let's all drink to global warming

    :)

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  • 3. At 9:56pm on 09 Jun 2009, GreenGoblinKing wrote:

    I think this is great news. The focus on news from Afghanistan is always terrorism and the Taliban. Between the grapes and their new endangered species list, Afghanistan is making a real effort to focus on natural matters as well.
    http://tinyurl.com/lzm6al

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  • 4. At 12:06pm on 10 Jun 2009, shantabarley wrote:

    I've not heard about Afghanistan's new endangered species list, GGK - have you got a link for that?

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  • 5. At 05:52am on 24 Jun 2009, LarryKealey wrote:


    My Dear Shanta,

    Thank you once again for yet another wonderful article. I do like your way with words.

    It just seems such a shame to me that the value of afghan grapes is only measured (by so many) in terms of CO2 emissions. Thank you for pointing out that they may actually have a smaller carbon footprint than grapes grown locally in the UK. Again such a shame. Afghan grapes are a win-win even without considering CO2 emissions. A valuable crop for Afghani's, cheaper grapes for the UK. Much better the world over than poppies. Everyone benefits (except of course, the drug lords).

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  • 6. At 05:55am on 24 Jun 2009, LarryKealey wrote:


    Jack_Hughes_NZ:

    Wouldn't you like a nice glass of wine as you sit on your favorite spot to watch the sun go super-nova and get vaporized? I mean, hey, if you are going to go...should you not go in style?

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  • 7. At 09:36am on 28 Oct 2009, WineBible wrote:

    This would be really interesting if Afghanistan got into the wine producing business. An Afghan Chardonnay coming to a high street near you?

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