While Sacramento collects food to send to starving East Africa during their worst drought in years, some European towns in Italy and Spain are holding ‘Carnival’ to honor certain saints by throwing food at one another, trampling and wasting perhaps 100 tons of oranges and tomatoes. For example, the famous carnival food fights this August that destroy tons of oranges, are still held in the town of Ivrea, Italy. And tons of fresh tomatoes are squashed and dumped in Spain. Why aren’t these foods shipped to starving people elsewhere? Because it wouldn’t draw enough tourists to these small towns during the summer. These are annual events.
Want to throw food at people? See your travel agent for a tour guide for the summer months when the tomatoes or the oranges are thrown to promote tourism as much as honor the saints. Maybe you’d be better off sending peanut butter packs to Africa or solar cooking stoves where needed. The University of California, Davis is doing its part by sending to starving families in Africa some packs of peanut butter fortified with vitamins that don’t require any type of can opener.
Meanwhile, who collects food in Sacramento to send to the starving kids in Africa? See, E.Africa faces famine, Eritrea suffers in silence – Sacramento. You have groups sending solar stoves and little packets of vitamins mixed in peanut butter. Locally, in the Sacramento and Davis areas, it’s the University of California, Davis developing and sending to the starving families in East Africa, little packets of peanut butter fortified with vitamins to save children from starving. See, Tiny packets of hope – The Campaign for UC Davis: Honoring Giving.
Europe wastes too much food instead of sending it to starving East Africa. For example, in Germany, people are pelted with candy, and other food throws as well as flowers. In Binche (pronounced BANSH), Belgium, the otherwise-dignified Gilles throw oranges at the crowd. These are perfectly good oranges, hundreds of them thrown away in a mess that turns the streets into sticky garbage. Couldn’t those oranges be sent to areas of drought in other places of the world to feed those in need? In times past, throughout Europe and the Americas, such good foods as flour, eggs, seeds, and onions have been hurled at festival-goers. Sometimes rice is hurled at people. Other times and in other areas of the world dirt is hurled or colored powders for celebrations.
This big picture here shows how many oranges are wasted, thrown, and stepped on in Ivrea. Even over-ripe fruit can be turned into compost and sent to countries that need the soil restored to fertility to grow produce. See, Images for Ivrea. Also see the website, Ivrea Carnival – Orange Throwing Carnevale di Ivrea in Italy. Also see, Orange throwing festival in Ivrea – Delicious Italy. If the food waste carnivals of Europe are meant to attract tourists, they do attract tourists from Sacramento and the rest of the USA as well as other countries. Why do so many people join the herd to celebrate ‘carnival’ by trampling and throwing food that could help starving babies and anyone else in countries such as Africa? See the Ivrea orange food fight on the uTube video, “Ivrea Orange Battle 2011.MOV.” And also see the tomato food fight uTube video, “Hot: Throwing Tomatoes at La Tomatina Festival, Bunol, Spain: World’s Biggest Food Fight.”
Couldn’t a better carnival be spent by doing good deeds such as donating the thousands of tons of oranges from Ivrea? Also, the thousands of tomatoes thrown away in Spain are not rotten tomatoes, but fresh ones. Couldn’t they be sent to where people are starving whether in cans, fresh, or dried? Or couldn’t the tomatoes have been turned into compost or fertilizer and donated to nourish the mineral-depleted soil in the lands of the drought? How many tourists actually tasted the oranges and tomatoes to see the actual condition of the produce?
The tomato throwing festival, La Tomatina 2011 Tomato Throwing Tomatina Festival is on a tour guide’s brochure. It takes place in Bunol, in the province of Valencia, Spain. If the tomatoes are said to be over-ripe or rotten, why couldn’t they have been donated before they became that ripe? And photos don’t show tomatoes that look rotten or bad-smelling. So the only way to tell is to ask the tourists who participated. How did the tomatoes taste? Good? Or rotten?
La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol near to Valencia in Spain. Thousands upon thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to fight in this ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
Couldn’t the tomatoes go to Kenya and Somalia, instead? This August festival lasts a week and includes a tourist attraction also of music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. It attracts numerous Sacramento travelers who want to visit Bunol just to see the tomato fight. The night before people hurl tomatoes at one another thinking that’s funny, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest.
Anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people come to this gigantic tomate fight, greatly expanding Bunol’s normal 9,000 person population. There is limited accommodation for people who come to La Tomatina. Most people avoid the noise after dark by staying in nearby Valencia, only 38km to Bunol by bus or train. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage, according to the website, La Tomatina 2011 Tomato Throwing Festival.
By 10 am, the first event of the Tomatina begins. First you have a waste of fuel cost as trucks haul the huge bounty of tomatoes about to be wasted into the center of the town, Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they don’t cost too much. Shouldn’t those tomatoes be going to the starving kids of Africa instead?
Technically the festival does not begin until one show-off climbs to the top of a two-story high, greased-up wooden pole and reached the coveted Spanish ham at the top. The signal for the beginning of the fight is firing of water cannons, and the chaos begins. Once it begins, the battle totally wastes hundreds of tons of food.
If you want to see good food going to waste instead of to starving children, wear those goggles, a cycle helmet, and thick gloves to avoid losing your eyesight or getting hit in the head and injured permanently–by tomatoes, or worse yet in Ivrea, by oranges that can break your skull or take out an eye or crush your nose.
If you’re liable to slip and fall, don’t come if you have bone loss. You’ll probably slip and do some permanent damage to your bones. Wear thick gloves. You’d be asked to crush the tomatoes to make the throwing safer, but how many enforce this safety measure before throwing? You can guess what happens in a tomato throwing fight or in an orange tossing battle.
Another custom is the crowd tearing your clothes off, starting with your shirt or blouse. Be on guard and wear a jumpsuit made of heavy denim. It takes fire trucks to spray the streets. You’ll have to wash over in the crowded river. The acid from the tomato can really burn. And this all started to honor in festival the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary. You guessed right. The saints would have donated the oranges and tomatoes to those who needed it most, the people in those countries where the drought is causing so many to starve.