Things That Matter

Apparently There Are Three Feet Long Avocados Called Long Necks And Like Please Take All My Money

Avocados, much like the feminine form, come in all different shapes and sizes. Most people’s perception of produce is limited to what we see in the supermarket, but avocados are just as diverse as Latinidad. This week, people on the internet are losing their minds over a little known, slender, meter-long avocado known as the “long neck.” Just to be clear, 1 meter is about 3.3 feet. Now that’s more bang for your buck and lord knows we need it with these babies. 

Avocados have become the luxury fruit of millennials coping with the existential dread of President Trumpito, climate change, stagnated wages, and expensive healthcare. Sure an entire Avocado is $1.99 and an entire loaf of bread is $4.99, but the world is ending so who cares if I spend $15.00 on avocado toast? Guacamole is extra? Everything is extra, my guy! It’s 2019 if I want to fill my tub with hundreds of avocados and bathe in their robust omega fatty acids while the world implodes, don’t judge me. We may never pay off our student loans, but at least we have avocados. 

These long neck avocados are popping.

When Miami Fruit shared a photograph of a massive, long neck avocado on Facebook, users were stunned by its unusual appearance. However, the Facebook page assured their following that the avocados were locally popping. 

“The avocados are popping off right now,” they wrote. “South Florida farmers grow dozens of unique varieties not common in any other part of the mainland USA.” 

She’s organic and GMO-free, baby! 

Long neck avocados, also known as Pura Vida avocados, are grown in Miami but they aren’t typically sold commercially. South Florida is home to about 50 different kinds of avocados. (but I find it problematic that not one is shaped like an exact replica of Celia Cruz). Farmers grow long necks organically and without any genetic modifications. That means mother nature made these puppies grow over three feet, not science. 

The hearty gourd is originally from Nicaragua and their seeds are coveted all over the world. 

According to Miami Fruit, folks “even travel the world looking for seeds to bring back to the states to try to grow. This variety, in particular, originated in Nicaragua and is now grown small scale here in South Florida by fruit enthusiasts.”

Yes, you can buy these even if you don’t live in Miami. 

For a cool $47.00 – $197.00 you can buy an entire box of these avocados. If you’re cringing at the price, the boxes range from 3 to 45 pounds. Hey, it’s a bargain if you ask me, that’s the cost of half a slice of avocado toast here in New York City. 

Yes, supermarkets have a diversity issue!

While there are literally hundreds of different kinds of avocados, Hass avocados are overrepresented in supermarkets. According to the USDA, they make up roughly 95 percent of the market.

Let’s keep it 100 for a second.

Avocados are delicious as hell, and as Latinx people, they’re often a staple in our cultures. The United States relies heavily on avocados imported from Mexico. Nearly 80 percent of the avocados we eat come from south of the border. According to Reuters, in April, within a week of the Trump administration’s threat to shut down the Mexican border, as an immigration and asylum deterrent, avocado prices surged 50 percent. Moreover, the cruelty of the immigration policy itself hurts Latinx farmers and laborers domestically. Nearly half of all farmworkers in the United States are undocumented according to the Department of Labor. Farmers are now grappling with labor shortages due to this country’s legacy of racist immigration policies. With threats of ICE raids targeting anyone who looks Latinx, I wouldn’t show up for work either. 

Each time you eat an avocado, it is likely that a Mexican or Latinx person worked on the farm it came from. All of the things we take for granted were willed into existence by someone somewhere. Too often that person is exploited, oppressed, underpaid, and brown. So yeah, let’s talk about how dope avocados are, but let’s not forget about the people who made them that way. 

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A Section Of Border Wall Is At Risk Of Falling Into Rio Grande Months After Being Called The ‘Lamborghini Of Border Walls’

Things That Matter

A Section Of Border Wall Is At Risk Of Falling Into Rio Grande Months After Being Called The ‘Lamborghini Of Border Walls’

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Trump’s vanity project – that so many of his supporters hail as his greatest accomplishment – has hit another major setback. His planned border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has consisted of a mix of government-built and privately-built segments, and now one of the highest-profile segments is at literal risk of falling over into a river. How’s that for karma?

The segment in Texas, which its developer called the ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls, was poorly built along a massive flood plain and now erosion has left it in shambles, mere months after construction.

The “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger of falling into the river if nothing is done.

Trump supporters funded a private border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande, helping the builder secure $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Now the “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger of falling into the river if nothing is done, experts say.

This ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls is different from those that came before it, in that it could allegedly be built directly on the banks of the Rio Grande – a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.

But engineering experts and hydrologists told ProPublica that despite the company’s claims, the wall was built too close to the Rio Grande and is in serious danger of collapse, as photos show “a series of gashes and gullies” along the base of the structure that have severely weakened the structure’s foundation.

According to reports, the foundation for the wall’s steel poles reach only 2.5 feet into the ground, less than one-third as deep as government usually requires. The shallow foundation combined with the rugged riverbank terrain is reportedly a recipe for disaster.

“When the river rises, it will likely attack those areas where the foundation is exposed, further weakening support of the fence and potentially causing portions … to fall into the Rio Grande,” Alex Mayer told ProPublica.

The geography of the Rio Grande has long been a roadblock to wall construction in the region.

Credit: Bend Bend National Park / USFS

A border wall has long existed in one form or another along much of Texas’s southern border. But it’s often existed miles away from the actual border with Mexico, thanks to the region’s diverse and difficult terrain. The Rio Grande Valley’s unique geography includes a wide floodplain that has forced the government to construct barriers inland, on top of a levee system. That has left swaths of farmland, cemeteries and even homes in a kind of no man’s land south of the fence.

Jude Benavides, a hydrologist, told ProPublica, that “People don’t appreciate the power of the Rio Grande when it does indeed wake up. It changes the landscape.”

The contractor has used the segment in Texas to secure billions of dollars worth of contracts to build additional wall in Arizona.

Just this May, the company, Fisher Sand & Gravel (FSG), a won a record-high $1.3 billion government contract to built a portion of Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. They won the approval even though the government’s own Army Corps of Engineers spoke out against FSG’s prototype for lack of “quality” and “sophistication.”

But like so many other Trump projects, the president inserted himself directly into the bidding process – helping FSG gain the contracts. No surprise: FSG’s director, Tommy Fisher, has been a frequent guest on Fox News and has played into Trump’s latest frustrations regarding his wall project, promising he would be able to build it faster and cheaper than any other contractor on the project.

The segment in Texas was built using private donations from some of Trump’s biggest supporters.

Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

As Trump faced opposition against his border wall vanity project in Congress, several non-profit groups sprung up in support of his border wall plan. That’s exactly how Fisher’s private fence projects got off the ground.

Both the New Mexico and South Texas projects were built with financial and political help from We Build The Wall, an influential conservative nonprofit – Trump supporter and political strategist Steven Bannon is a board member. In touting its project, the group claimed to have raised more than $25 million and agreements with landowners along 250 miles of riverfront property across Texas.

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President Trump’s Border Wall Blew Over In High Winds And Landed On Mexican Territory—Yes, You Read That Right

Things That Matter

President Trump’s Border Wall Blew Over In High Winds And Landed On Mexican Territory—Yes, You Read That Right

CRA TV / YouTube

A stretch of President Trump’s infamous border wall that was newly constructed in Calexico, California, collapsed and fell into Mexicalli, Mexico due to strong winds this Wednesday. “We have a very powerful wall,” said the president in November, but judging by the photos of the toppled over structure, it doesn’t really look like it. 

Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds Wednesday, landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border.

Agent Carlos Pitones of the Customs and Border Protection sector in El Centro, California, told CNN that the section of the wall that gave into the wind had recently been set in a new concrete foundation in Calexico, California. The concrete had not yet cured, according to Pitones, and the wall panels were unable to withstand the weather conditions.

The structure landed on trees that prevented it from hitting the ground.

Police said it happened a little before 12 p.m. local time. A portion of the wall landed on the trees, preventing it from hitting the ground. It runs about 130 feet in length.

President Trump’s prized border wall succumbed to gusts of less than 40mph.

“Luckily, Mexican authorities responded quickly and were able to divert traffic from the nearby street,” US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent Carlos Pitones said. Nobody is believed to have been injured.

The National Weather Service reported that winds in the area gusted as high as 37 mph Wednesday.

Video from CNN affiliate KYMA shows the metal panels leaning against the trees adjacent to a Mexicali, Mexico, street as the wind whips up dirt from the construction site on the other side of the border.

The fence is part of the Trump administration’s ongoing construction project to stop illegal migration across the 1,954 mile-long (3,145 km) US-Mexico border.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump declared at a campaign event in New Jersey that the wall was “going up at record speed.”A day later, the winds blew a section of newly installed panels against a road in Mexicali, on the Mexican side of the border.

When visiting a section of the wall in California last year, Mr Trump described its concrete and steel slats as “virtually impenetrable.”

Despite three years of slow progress, Trump has pledged to build 450 miles by 2021, in an attempt to boost his electoral chances later this year. While President Trump has often claimed the wall “can’t be climbed”, viral footage has shown multiple people climbing existing portions of the costly barrier, and to-scale replicas, with ease.

Even with funding, the administration will have to fight private landowners whose property may be seized to build barriers along the border.

As well as facing political and legal challenges, the Trump administration has also had to beat physical obstacles, filing three lawsuits towards the end of 2019 as part of efforts to seize US citizens’ property. The Department of Justice has said it’s preparing to file more lawsuits of the same nature, Associated Press reported in November.

The US president claimed he wasn’t familiar with a Washington Post report suggesting smugglers had cut through.

The Post’s report said that smugglers had succeeded in cutting through sections of the border wall using everyday household power tools. “I haven’t heard that. We have a very powerful wall”, President Trump said. “But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness. But we have a lot of people watching.”

Customs and Border Protection says local Mexicali officials diverted traffic from the area of the accident, and the agency is working with the Mexican government on the next steps to right the wall. Pitones said it is not currently known how long the construction work in the area will need to be suspended in order to allow for cleanup.

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