Today, Hend and I were grocery shopping and she bought this huge bag of oranges. I didn't understand why she would buy so many when I was sure they weren't going to be ripe. I told her "Hend, its not the season, they wont be sweet." Winter is the season for oranges, everyone knows that. She shrugged and told me "Its Winter somewhere." It was true, the oranges came from South Africa and they were delicious.
One of the things that has become very salient to me is how protected the American agricultural business and American farmers really are. The American agricultural business is essentially under lock and key to foreign markets. American farmers are very protected. With few exceptions of South American products, most fruits and vegetables are home grown. The reasons behind this are many, but fall under two categories: National Pride or Economics.
Being the desert, Dubai has to ship in all of their resources, but there is a benefit to all this. I've become a world citizen vis-a-vis the grocery store. I've eaten apples from Brazil, watermelon from Iran, tomatoes from Malaysia, onions from Holland, potatoes from Jordan, grapes from Italy, broccoli from the US, carrots from India, and peaches from Morocco. Its amazing to taste all these fruits and vegetables from different places. The varieties are slightly different than ones grown in America.
Yet another opportunity in Dubai, I wouldn't have in the US!