31 August, 2011

"I'm A Chiquita Banana And I'm Here To Say..."

 ...bananas are more than just a phalic-looking breakfast food from the tropical regions of the planet. There's an intriguing story to them too!

Bookcover of work by Dan Koeppel who was interviewed for this story. Image courtesy of npr.org.
One of my favorite radio interview shows Fresh Air from WHYY with Terry Gross has been broadcasting a special food series for the last week in August called Fresh Food: The Science, Politics and Culture of What We Eat, so obviously I'm doing a little happy dance in appreciation! Check out this neat story on bananas, their dubious production history, a little humor in recalling the cliché-ridden Chiquita Banana song sung by the Brazilian Carmen Miranda, and how industrial banana farms today are a blatant example of the dangers of food monocultures (only growing one type of plant on a massive scale because it is thought to be more profitable, yet thereby sets itself up for failure if infected by an incurable disease and why so many pesticides have to to be used in this kind of agriculture). For another story on this inevitable dooms-day scenario, go to this other one in the Fresh Food series called "How Industrial Farming 'Destroyed' The Tasty Tomato." Scary, but important to know AND make change!

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