Monday, 17 January 2011


Bananas, those yellow sweet fruits that we all know. My time in Central America has taught me a LOT about bananas, the different kinds, how to cook them, where they are grown and so on. I have driven through vast banana plantations in Costa Rica, picked fruit from the side of the road, haggled over bananas in the market. I mean here we are in one of the original Banana Republics!

What I have also learned is the story of the exploitation of the indigenous populations by the big Corporate boys who along with the CIA overthrew Governments and manipulated nations, all through bananas!

The history of the United Fruit Company  is well documented in the book BANANAS  by Peter Chapman.One of the most interesting stories that I have read about the intrigue, money and power that circles around this seemingly harmless yellow fruit. Yet fortunes have been won and lost in this game, political power wielded and nations exploited.For most of the twentieth century United Fruit dominated a dozen countries, it was more powerful than than many states and a law unto itself....

 The Dole company now dominate the market, a US company that has attracted the attention of the worlds press with a court case bought on behalf of a group of Nicaraguan banana workers.

The documentary Bananas, directed by Fredrik Gertten follows the story.

Today bananas are the worlds fourth major food after rice, wheat and milk! I no longer see them solely as a fruit but as an instrument of power and corruption. Put's a whole new slant on a banana split I can tell you.....

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