Thursday, June 19, 2008
The Life and Times of the Banana
Continuing on the recent food theme, we find this interesting history of the banana, and (of course!) the suggestion that the universal availability of this tropical fruit may soon come to an end. The history being somewhat less benign than you would think, encompassing as it does the exploitation and manipulation of Latin American peoples and their governments by US multinationals (think United Fruit) and the shameful and embarassing record of US meddling in the Western Hemisphere for its own ends. Another interesting factoid reveals that the variety of banana currently eaten (yet another instance of monoculture) was previously considered a less desirable one than that eaten by people in the past, but that variety succumbed to a fungus, and an ominous hint that our current banana consumption may be merely a small point in time.