Blood Bananas Essay

10215 Words Jan 11th, 2013 41 Pages

Andreas Schotter
Mary Teagarden

Blood Bananas: Chiquita in Colombia
No one laughs at the banana in its areas of origin. It is too serious a business, on which jobs and lives depend.
Peter Chapman, Author of Jungle Capitalists.

For Chiquita Brands International, a pioneer in the globalization of the banana industry, bananas are not only serious business, they represent an array of economic, social, environmental, political, and legal hassles. Since its founding more than a hundred years ago as United Fruit Company, Chiquita has been involved in paying bribes to Latin American government officials in exchange for preferential treatment, encouraging or supporting U.S. coups against smaller nations, putting in place dictatorships in
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The whole trip, from plantation to grocery store, takes about two weeks.
The earliest recorded writings about the banana date from around 600 BC or earlier in India. There were several different varieties growing in the wild, all of which were inedible due to taste, and some varieties even made people ill. The Indian agriculturalists experimented with crossbreeding wild varieties of bananas, but while some of the resulting hybrids were edible, they were also sterile, which meant that the original plants needed to be crossbred each time someone wanted a new edible banana crop. Eventually, they came up with a hybrid that produced offshoots (suckers) that could be planted to grow into new plants full of sweet bananas.
Between 400-300 BC, bananas found their way eastward with Alexander the Great and his armies. The banana appeared in Chinese literature around 200 AD and then migrated westward to Africa. From there, it likely hitched a ride in the ships of Spanish explorers to the Canary Islands, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and other parts of the western hemisphere. Along the way, other hybrid breeds were created. New varieties were also developed in China. Somehow, a Chinese banana made its way to Great Britain and became famous as the
“Cavendish Banana,” named after an important English family. The Cavendish became the great granddaddy of

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