Thursday, June 19, 2008

Please Don't Take My Bananas!

I eat a banana every morning first thing. If I'm in a hurry but starving I grab a banana for the road. I snack on trail mix with banana chips. Bananas are cheap, filling, easy to eat, extremely portable, and good for you. They don't have a very long shelf life, but there's always banana bread.

I have been ignoring the little green voice in my head that says bananas are not so good for the environment. After reading the article Yes, We Will Have No Bananas, I can ignore it no longer. I may have to start looking for a banana alternative, or save them for a special treat (Although, even at $1/lb they are still cheaper than most fruits, unless they are on sale. It's difficult to find a balance between convenience, price, and environmental benefits).
"ONCE you become accustomed to gas at $4 a gallon, brace yourself for the next shocking retail threshold: bananas reaching $1 a pound. At that price, Americans may stop thinking of bananas as a cheap staple, and then a strategy that has served the big banana companies for more than a century — enabling them to turn an exotic, tropical fruit into an everyday favorite — will begin to unravel.

The immediate reasons for the price increase are the rising cost of oil and reduced supply caused by floods in Ecuador, the world’s biggest banana exporter. But something larger is going on that will affect prices for years to come.

That bananas have long been the cheapest fruit at the grocery store is astonishing. They’re grown thousands of miles away, they must be transported in cooled containers and even then they survive no more than two weeks after they’re cut off the tree. Apples, in contrast, are typically grown within a few hundred miles of the store and keep for months in a basket out in the garage. Yet apples traditionally have cost at least twice as much per pound as bananas..." More Interesting Banana Info

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