Monday, January 22, 2018

Trinidad pineapple farmers star on Sesame Street

Members of the Sesame Street film crew and the pineapple farmers of Tableland.

IF you love Sesame Street, then don't miss the show this Saturday. Trinidad and Tobago being featured on the iconic television series which premiers its 48th season with a new segment called: “Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck.”

Members of the Tableland Pineapple Farmers Association and some children will be featured in the segment which will aim to educate children about pineapples grown locally.

According to agriculturist Omardath Maharaj, initial contact was made through Facebook as the producers of the children's show were looking for new content for its series.
After talks, a film crew visited south Trinidad to film the episode.

Maharaj said that in the episode the characters will question the origins of various foods as they make pizza using the tropical fruit, locally grown.

There will then be an explanation about the fruit by members from the Tableland community. The segment will show the hard work of the farmers in growing and reaping the tropical fruit.

“So the star of the show is Cookie Monster and he will have a side kick which is a new character known as Bonger and they would be making pizza. They will look at a pineapple fruit and their curiosity about it will take them on a trip to Tableland where they will be welcomed by some members from the Association. It will go more into the farmer showing the fruit but also about teaching them about the Tableland sugar loft pineapple.

In it we also pushed to show more of Trinidad culinary and cuisine by showing that the pineapple can be made into jams and jellies and that its use is more than just slices and cubes. After that visit the characters will go to Robert Village where there is a roadside stall with a local vendor selling them the fruit,” said Maharaj.

Maharaj praised the media for highlighting their previous stories as this was the means by which the production team from Sesame Street were able to make contact.

He said: “because of all that we have been doing and it being highlighted in the media, when they were searching for information about the pineapple, they came across the Tableland Pineapple farmers and that how contact was first made. We couldn't have said anything before because of the privacy issue but now we could. What we did was to show them that we are more than a nation with Carnival activities. And it really put a spotlight on the rural communities which is a great achievement.”

Maharaj said the Association has been advocating for greater education when it comes to knowing how food is produced.

“I believe that rural agricultural and fishing communities have the answers to questions which secondary research will only speculate. This feature moves our advocacy from 1.3 million people in Trinidad and Tobago to hundreds of millions of people across 150 countries around the world.

With all that is happening in our country from politics to poverty from indecision on sugar consumption in schools and local food content in school meals to heinous crimes and murder perpetrated on our nation's children - this is a golden opportunity to not only focus on all that in good in T&T but our collective future as well,” he said.

This is not the first time the country has been featured on the popular kids show, as it was featured for elements linked to Carnival. One episode featured was when Super Blue won Soca Monarch and the other educating the audience about stilt walking and moko jumbies.
Catch the episode this Saturday on HBO Kids at 9 a.m.