The New Pecan-Theft Epidemic
Down where the Pecan Belt wraps itself around Georgia, the New York Times finds today that pecan theft is a persistent epidemic, growing more persistent all the time. Twice as many pecans were stolen this year over last year, and with states like Texas gone too dry to grow them right, and countries like China holding good pecans at as high a premium as ever, it really is as if money were growing on trees—and then falling to the ground, where enterprising entrepreneurs unburdened by legal considerations can scoop them up, gold as bling. This is not an idle metaphor, or a prejudicial one. There’s even a rap song called “Crank Dat Pecan,” by a local rapper named Hawkdogg, and you can listen to it here if you don’t believe me.
The problem has gone as wide as possible, because money knows no culture, even in the best of times. One grower told the Times that, out of the several million pounds of pecans he will harvest this season, he’s counting on tens of thousands of pounds being stolen. That’s never going to be a problem with something like fruit, no matter how precious, because fruit quickly perishes, and though it grows on trees, it typically stays there. Pecans, meanwhile, fall to the ground, often of their own accord, and remain there, forever fresh, just waiting for the looters to scramble after them.
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