Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental by John Soluri

By John Soluri

Bananas, the main usually ate up clean fruit within the usa, were associated with omit Chiquita and Carmen Miranda, "banana republics," and Banana Republic garments stores-everything from unique kitsch, to 3rd global dictatorships, to middle-class type. yet how did the increase in banana intake within the usa impact the banana-growing areas of vital the United States? during this full of life, interdisciplinary research, John Soluri integrates agroecology, anthropology, political economic system, and background to track the symbiotic progress of the export banana in Honduras and the patron mass industry within the usa. starting within the 1870s while bananas first seemed within the U.S. industry, Soluri examines the tensions among the small-scale growers, who ruled the alternate within the early years, and the shippers. He then exhibits how emerging call for resulted in alterations in construction that ended in the formation of significant agribusinesses, spawned foreign migrations, and remodeled nice swaths of the Honduran surroundings into monocultures vulnerable to plant illness epidemics that during flip replaced valuable American livelihoods. Soluri additionally seems to be at hard work practices and employees' lives, altering gender roles at the banana plantations, the results of insecticides at the Honduran setting and folks, and the mass advertising and marketing of bananas to shoppers within the usa. His multifaceted account of a century of banana creation and intake provides an incredible bankruptcy to the heritage of Honduras, in addition to to the bigger background of globalization and its results on rural peoples, neighborhood economies, and biodiversity.

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Additional info for Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States

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Citizen named Howard Reed complained about labor shortages due to the unwillingness of Hondurans living in the highlands to work on the coast. ’’ 31 Although men would dominate farmwork in the twentieth-century Honduran banana industry, there is some evidence that women participated in the early days of the trade. 32 The involvement of Garífuna women is hardly surprising given both the numerous Garífuna settlements along the Honduran Caribbean coastline and women’s traditional role as caretakers of home gardens planted with yuca, yams, plantains, and bananas.

The banana’s biology therefore made possible—but did not guarantee—a comparatively quick and steady return on both capital and labor investments. Of course, this same biology also presented some challenges: the giant herb’s treelike stature rendered it very susceptible to wind damage, particularly when the plants were bearing heavy fruit bunches. 17 However, following the passage of the 1877 Agrarian Law, President Soto’s vision of Hondurans working to transform forests into farms became a reality in the form of expanding export banana production on the mainland.

The society survived five years before dissolving in 1899 while trying to negotiate a purchase contract. 62 However, a memoir written by a San Pedro Sula planter named Catarino Rivas Chácon recalled that during times of high prices, banana growers and shippers alike engaged in speculation and often broke contracts. 63 Of course, market structures were not the only factors that affected banana growers. 67 The Omoa growers’ association outlived its initial charter. , is high quality fruit meticulously cared for, unblemished and not over-exposed to the sun.

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