Made In The U.S.A.

This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

In Adventures on April 18, 2009 at 12:33 am

So, embarking on a little more research into my banana-buying fiasco, I expected to find that there are some locally-grown American banana options, perhaps from Florida and Hawaii and California. And there are. But I can’t find any way to buy them, other than perhaps to be in Florida or Hawaii or California and happen upon a grove of banana bushes and pay someone a nickel to eat one.

I know bananas don’t grow on bushes. That was a joke. Everybody knows that bananas grow underground, like carrots.

So then I thought I’d take heart in the fact that by buying an imported banana from one of the 107 banana-growing nations of the world I’m at least not buying from a direct competitor to the American fruit grower or an evil corporate entity. After all, it’s just a banana, right?

And then I read this:

Bananas seem at first like a lush product of nature, but this is a sweet illusion. In their current form, bananas were quite consciously created. Until 150 years ago, a vast array of bananas grew in the world’s jungles and they were invariably consumed nearby. Some were sweet; some were sour. They were green or purple or yellow.

A corporation called United Fruit [now Chiquita] took one particular type–the Gros Michael–out of the jungle and decided to mass produce it on vast plantations, shipping it on refrigerated boats across the globe. The banana was standardised into one friendly model: yellow and creamy and handy for your lunchbox.

There was an entrepreneurial spark of genius there, but United Fruit developed a cruel business model to deliver it… Find a poor, weak country. Make sure the government will serve your interests. If it won’t, topple it and replace it with one that will. Burn down its rainforests and build banana plantations. Make the locals dependent on you. Crush any flicker of trade unionism. Then, alas, you may have to watch as the banana fields die from the strange disease that stalks bananas across the globe. If this happens, dump tonnes of chemicals on them to see if it makes a difference. If that doesn’t work, move on to the next country. Begin again.

So, apparently, I should have eaten an apple.

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  1. That is why I could never get myself to shop at a store that called itself “Banana Republic”…While the average consumer may not understand what the banana republic truly is/was….how could the company not have a clue….or maybe they just glory in corporate imperialism, oppression, and racism……

    However, I should not throw too many stones, I do eat bananas…. 😦

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