How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit

from Quart Blog By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros March 3, 2014


It’s that time of the year when my geography class gets to study Latin America. I say GET TO study, because learning should be fun, eye opening, and an opportunity to see things for the first time or see something from a different point of view. My students would have you believe they HAVE TO study Latin America, but really they GET TO. To add to the fun of learning about a place they have never seen, I ask my students to collect banana stickers . We sort them by country, brand, and organic vs. traditional. When were finished collecting, I ask them to think about what our sticker collection tells us about bananas. With the shift to Common Core – it is a good thing, trust me – I am asking my students to think deeper, to make connections to the world around them and to wonder where the food we eat comes from, and if it a good thing, or not. Living in the middle of Illinois farm country where corn, soy beans, and wheat are grown as well as cattle, pigs, and poultry are raised my kids, my students – suburban children of middle class Americans think little of where the food they eat comes from or how it gets here.

I’ve tried to re-blog the article and it seems the process is stuck….. so I am re-posting the link here it is….

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit

I heard about this article while listening to Market Place on NPR Thursday evening on my way home. I knew about the situation and had read the book mentioned in the article, but I was looking for something I could share with my seventh graders. Rather than refer to the article with an embedded link, I felt it was better to reblog it. I’ll be writing more later, but give it a read, it’s worthwhile. Thanks for stopping by,  Making the Days Count, one day at a time, and one banana a day, too.

8 thoughts on “Bananas…

  1. Funny, I never thought much about the banans stickers. Here in NYC we have street carts selling them and I do get some with different stickers now and then. I’ll have to pay more attention now. I love bananas and can eat them every day. Learned something new here.

    1. my kids love ’em too. So far I think we’ve collected about 400 or so.. the push begins tomorrow and Friday with the FINAL due date. I counted four different brands – Chiquita, Dole, Delmonte, and Turbanna – one kid has been stalking the produce section at the grocery store and coming in with them daily! AND he’s the kid who has a difficult time finishing his homework. I’ll snap a photo and post this weekend… lots goin’ on…. hope you get to enjoy the first day of spring.

    1. Thanks Susie… my colleagues think I’m bananas, but it really does engage the kids in a way that is different for them. I love geography and it is a blast to share my passion with my students. Have a great day!

    1. Thanks – I’ve collected them for years and it is always fun. One year I taught them the Chiquita banana song and the orchestra teacher transcribed the notes for violin, cello, and bass players. Three kids and I performed for the faculty. It was a blast. Those kids are now in college, difficult to believe how quickly time flies. ‘….when they’re fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue, bananas taste the best and are the best for you…’

    1. Patricia – thanks for the compliment, though there are days when I don’t feel like I am making a dent. On the way out of school last Friday – the Friday before last, I ran into a former student who asked if I was collecting banana stickers again this year – she was excited when she told me all she learned from the activity; that in itself was validation. This week I have kids who don’t normally participate coming in with stickers droves of them, and of course my sweet little O just chimed in from the breakfast room that she found an article in the newspaper! Our beloved bananas may disappear.Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful day, Clay

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