Dear Dr. Boli: Okay, I have what may seem like a silly question, but it’s kind of freaking me out. Where are all the pomegranates coming from? Until a few years ago, people ate pomegranates where pomegranates grow, and in the rest of the world, pomegranates were a rare specialty item in gourmet stores. But then suddenly somebody started this rumor that pomegranates cured cancer or baldness or something, and every supermarket and convenience store in North America was stuffed to bursting with hundreds of gallons of 100% real pomegranate juice. Have you ever tried to juice a pomegranate? Do you know how many pomegranates it takes to make one gallon of juice? (Answer: about three dozen, according to the all-knowing Internet.)

So where did all those pomegranates suddenly come from? I mean, suddenly everybody in North America needed pomegranate juice, and there were somehow enough pomegranates to make it for them? But pomegranates grow on trees, for Pete’s sake. You can’t just plant a pomegranate seed in April and have a bumper crop of pomegranates by June. I’ve been thinking myself into a dither, but I can’t for the life of me understand where all the pomegranates are coming from. Can you help me? —Sincerely, A Botanist.

Dear Sir or Madam: Dr. Boli regrets that you have asked him one of the few questions he cannot answer. It is not because he does not know the answer, but because it would be exceedingly dangerous for you to know it. There are dark forces at work, darker than you can imagine. If you value your safety and your sanity—if you love your family—you will put all questions about pomegranates out of your head at once, and think about bananas or carambolas instead.


  1. Clay Potts says:

    Dear Dr. Boli,

    The answer to your reader’s question is not so sinister as you purport. The American consumer has a small group of forward-thinking dietitians to thank for this seemingly sudden and inexhaustible availability of pomegranate juice on our grocer’s shelves, when in 1975 they successfully lobbied Congress to establish the “SPR, Strategic Pomegranate Reserve”, in anticipation of just such a future explosion of pomegranate juice demand.

  2. John M says:

    If one mixes the juice of one (1) pomegranate with the juice of ten thousand apples, it extends the Strategic Pomegranate Reserves’ capacity.

  3. Jared says:

    Is it true that the President tapped the Strategic Pomegranate Reserve just prior to the election? Frankly, it’s the only explanation I can think of for how he managed to prevail against Mr. Romney, truly the Wendell Willkie of his generation.

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