Banana ingredient list
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A banana a day keeps the doctor away. That and a cup of blueberries or a grapefruit, you can say goodbye to any illness. But try finding good tasting bananas these days. They may look yellow but they have the flavor of cardboard. Is there some banana crises the media is hiding from us?
Believe it or not, yes
“… 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 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 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. As the writer Dan Koeppel explains in his brilliant history Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, it worked like this. 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.
This sounds like hyperbole until you study what actually happened. In 1911, the banana magnate Samuel Zemurray decided to seize the country of Honduras as a private plantation. He gathered together some international gangsters like Guy “Machine Gun” Maloney, drummed up a private army, and invaded, installing an amigo as president.
The term “banana republic” was invented to describe the servile dictatorships that were created to please the banana companies. In the early 1950s, the Guatemalan people elected a science teacher named Jacobo Arbenz, because he promised to redistribute some of the banana companies’ land among the millions of landless peasants.
President Eisenhower and the CIA (headed by a former United Fruit employee) issued instructions that these “communists” should be killed, and noted that good methods were “a hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker or kitchen knife”. The tyranny they replaced it with went on to kill more than 200,000 people.
But how does this relate to the disease now scything through the world’s bananas? The evidence suggests even when they peddle something as innocuous as bananas, corporations are structured to do one thing only: maximise their shareholders’ profits. As part of a highly regulated mixed economy, that’s a good thing, because it helps to generate wealth or churn out ideas. But if the corporations aren’t subject to tight regulations, they will do anything to maximise short-term profit. This will lead them to seemingly unhinged behaviour – like destroying the environment on which they depend.
Not long after Panama Disease first began to kill bananas in the early 20th century, United Fruit’s scientists warned the corporation was making two errors. They were building a gigantic monoculture. If every banana is from one homogenous species, a disease entering the chain anywhere on earth will soon spread. The solution? Diversify into a broad range of banana types.
The company’s quarantine standards were also dire. Even the people who were supposed to prevent infection were trudging into healthy fields with disease-carrying soil on their boots. But both of these solutions cost money – and United Front didn’t want to pay. They decided to maximise their profit today, reckoning they would get out of the banana business if it all went wrong.
So by the 1960s, the Gros Michel that United Fruit had packaged as The One True Banana was dead. They scrambled to find a replacement that was immune to the fungus, and eventually stumbled upon the Cavendish. It was smaller and less creamy and bruised easily, but it would have to do.
But like in a horror movie sequel, the killer came back. In the 1980s, the Cavendish too became sick. Now it too is dying, its immunity a myth. …”
You and I generally agree on most things, but I strongly object to your hating on Whole Foods. You rectum. Sure, I hate their clientele. Russian nannies with bad teeth, house fraus’ with an undeserved sense of entitlement. Greenwich housewives looking for the perfect organic cucumber.
Women who all think they are better than you, but are walking around with horizontal skid marks in their Hello Kitties. YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE!!
But Whole Foods has great food. I love their sushi. The raw fish kind, not the walking around kind. With wasabi. I actually like that on the walking around kind as well. But that’s just me.
And their bakery is great. Sure it’s expensive. But who cares? Don’t we make it to just piss it all away?
There is nothing better than going to Whole Foods early in the morning, contemplating your lint filled navel, and the eating a giant chunk of Gouda cheese in your car. While you rock out to Lady Gaga. Do you agree?
You uncouth vermin.
horizontal skid marks?
YES!!! Anybody can do verticals. Whole Foods shoppers are special. If I need to explain it to you, you are a loser. No offense meant. You loser.
i would be more worried about the shrimp
That clip features Catherine O’Hara, a most beautiful and gifted comedic actress. I don’t know if she is related to Maureen O’Hara, the most beautiful woman who has ever lived, but she is high up there on the popabilty scale. Looks and laughs. What tops that?
Walt, what is it about those Irish gals?
Whole Foods is a complete scam. Veggies from China and Tilapia from the prisons of Colorado. Like the Sunoco station across the street, they prey on those that don’t want to travel more than a mile to seek out similar or better product. By 2015 Whole Foods will be “as one” with Monsanto.
Shell, not Sunoco. You are correct, as are the other Shell outlets, the most expensive fuel in town,
The old Oil City is now a Shell, and they’re usually the cheapest, however.
Pathmark Poland Spring Gallions: 99cents. Whole Foods? $2.69.The place is offensive and should be boycotted. Just Google “whole foods scam” and watch the stories that come up. Sashimi salmon is regular farmed junk. The place is all smoke and mirrors.
Nobody is forcing you to shop there. Stay at Shop and Shop, I am sure their quality is great as well.
The free market’s a beautiful thing
Hey; if you’re eating bananas, a banana slicer is a MUST!
And do read the reviews. Better than most of what you’ll read today (present company excluded, of course).
Where is a free market? I’m broke.
Try this at home.
R E S P E C T find out what it means to me
‘GMO-Free Cheerios: Well-Played Marketing, General Mills’
“Earlier this month, cereal giant General Mills announced the first finger food of American babies, the company’s original Cheerios, would be GMO-free. The announcement was received with resounding applause from food activists and moms alike. But unfortunately this wasn’t a case of a food-maker bending under the pressure of GMO activism, merely a smart marketing move.
To make the original Cheerios GMO-free, all General Mills had to do was change two relatively small ingredients—corn starch and sugar beets—both of which were used in small amounts in the formula to begin with. You see, Cheerios are mostly oats and oats are not genetically modified. General Mills simply moved to non-GMO corn starch and cane sugar. It was a small change and a cheap change, but the company will be reaping rewards all the way to the bank.
A growing number of Americans don’t want genetically-modified foods. In fact, 90% of Americans say GMOs are unsafe, while 93% favor GMO labeling laws. Individuals are recognizing the questionable safety of these frankenfoods in light of several studies linking them to ill health and even cancerous tumors. At the very least, we would like to see GMO foods labeled as such (even though labeling will never stop GMO crop contamination). So, when consumers see a product with a “GMO-free” label, they are more likely to pick it up than a non-labeled competitor. …”
this talk of Cheerios reminded me of a gut-wrenching revelation:
Froot Loops are all the same flavor (gasp)!
Not only that, but they’ll leave multi color poos in the baby’s diaper.
don’t want to be a total a-hole but seriously, don’t give a baby froot loops! the dyes are supposed to be beyond awful. (said the mom who threw a fistful of cheerios on the highchair every morning so she might pee in peace.)
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