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My cherimoya, shortly before it became smoothie fodder.

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October 11, 2006

Attack of the Almond Pirates

I heard this on NPR the other day on the way home from work...how I managed to avoid posting it this long I don't know.

Seems that some one has been stealing almonds from California's growers. And we're not just talking climbing over the fence and filling their pockets. We're talking truckloads. Eleven tractor-trailer loads this year, in one case 80,000 pounds of almonds in a single go. Almost $2 million worth so far. They're assumed to be selling them on the black market, because it's not like you can just hide nearly a million pound of almonds in your garage and sell baggies on street corners...

California's Almond Farmers Cope with Thefts via NPR (audio segment)

Update: Here's a link to a good old fashioned text version of the story, for those who can't be bothered with things like sound: Thieves Reap What Almond Farmers Sow, via The Modesto Bee.

Update 2: And, for completeness sake, a video version for those of you who want the full multimedia experience: Nut Nappers Creating Problems In Stockton (looks like they've moved onto walnuts, too!).

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At 10/20/2006 06:01:00 PM, Blogger MSS said...

We have lots of avocado theft problems around here (northern San Diego County), but this is the first I have heard of almond theft.

At 10/20/2006 11:53:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

How do the avocado thieves work?

I think there's more horticulture-related theft than people realize. It's kind of a reminder of how little most people know about where their food is coming from...if you've got a place where you can get rid of a lot of produce at once, it'll disappear into the distribution system where it'll be basically untraceable, and then consumed and gone forever.

At a university where I once worked, there was an incident where a research orchard was picked, and the crates covered and left at the end of the rows so the individual treatments could be sorted and graded. Sometime that night, somebody drove out to the experiment station, and carried off several full crates of apples. Not two semi-loads, but still several thousand pounds of apples, and an entire year of data from a very large experiment gone.

At 10/22/2006 08:46:00 PM, Blogger Correy said...

That is pretty keen. I suppose it is good in a way that the black market has something healthy, tasty and fun to consume rather then drugs, bootleg cd/dvd's and electrical equipment on it.

That guy who stole all the apples must have a problem with keeping the doctor away so he thought he would do it good and proper this time.... jokes.


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