NEW JERSEY MAN KILLED IN QUEBEC MAPLE SUGAR EXPLOSION – that is a headline you will never see, but tragedies like that happen every year. Yet the news is suppressed because no one wants to kill the cash cow. The result: one unsuspecting innocent after another gives their life for tourism, as dollars make a one-way trip across the US-Canada border.
Quebec officials boast that they are the #1 producer of maple sugar and syrup. “Vermont is a distant #2,” they say derisively. Meanwhile rumors swirl. Are they injecting maple growth hormone into their trees? How do they do it? I don’t have the answer. All I know is that maples are said to be exploding when tapped, and the jagged wood makes deadly shrapnel. Arborists say it’s excess sap pressure, but who really knows?
What about the safety of the syrup? I’ll take good old organic maple any day. I don’t wear blood diamonds and I don’t eat MGH-enhanced blood syrup. Who wants to eat maple candies that some poor farmer died to harvest?
Vermont says they have not had a maple sugaring fatality in years, but who knows if that's true? Recent accounts suggest Canadian maple sugar farms are littered with jagged stumps where proud trees once stood. Ask what happen and the answers are vague. Lightning, vandalism, or crazed loggers.
The season is upon us, folks. Know your syrup. Be careful around the trees. There’s a good reason forest peoples don’t sleep under tree branches. Don’t find out the hard way.