By John Soluri

Bananas, the main usually ate up clean fruit within the usa, were associated with leave out Chiquita and Carmen Miranda, "banana republics," and Banana Republic garments stores-everything from unique kitsch, to 3rd international dictatorships, to middle-class style. yet how did the increase in banana intake within the usa impact the banana-growing areas of important the USA? during this vigorous, interdisciplinary research, John Soluri integrates agroecology, anthropology, political economic system, and heritage to track the symbiotic progress of the export banana in Honduras and the patron mass marketplace within the usa. starting within the 1870s whilst bananas first seemed within the U.S. market, 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 atmosphere into monocultures prone to plant disorder epidemics that during flip replaced imperative American livelihoods. Soluri additionally appears at exertions practices and staff' lives, altering gender roles at the banana plantations, the consequences of insecticides at the Honduran atmosphere and folks, and the mass advertising of bananas to shoppers within the usa. His multifaceted account of a century of banana creation and intake provides a massive bankruptcy to the historical past of Honduras, in addition to to the bigger historical past of globalization and its results on rural peoples, neighborhood economies, and biodiversity.

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Extra resources for Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States

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The chapter incorporates a handful of women’s voices in order to shed light on women’s work experiences. S. consumer product icons of the twentieth century. ‘‘Born’’ in 1944, Miss Chiquita faded from public view in the 1950s before resurfacing in the 1960s as a brand name for United Fruit’s boxed Cavendish bananas. The period in between Miss Chiquita’s debut and revival witnessed important transitions in the production and marketing of bananas. In Honduras, the rapid spread of Panama disease, the 1954 strike, and political changes compelled the fruit companies to replace Gros Michel plants with resistant varieties.

Humboldt believed that the different agrarian landscapes produced distinct societies: ‘‘These considerations on the agriculture of the torrid zone involuntarily remind us of the intimate connection existing between the extent of land cleared, and the progress of society. ’’ 75 In other words, the perceived fecundity of tropical soils enabled residents to subsist on small plots of land, a mixed blessing that fostered social isolation and cultural stagnation. The writings of Humboldt and Bonpland distinguished the plantain from the banana, but popular sources tended to blur the distinction while emphasizing the linkage of bananas and barbarism.

25 In fact, labor histories of Honduras tend to jump from the widespread labor unrest of 1932 to the Great Strike of 1954 because formal worker organizations were all but nonexistent during the Cariato. 16 b a n a n a c u lt u r e s At times, the oral histories told to me by former fruit company employees resonated so forcefully with Amaya Amador’s description of plantation life that I was left wondering to what extent the novel’s characters and events had interpenetrated individual and collective memories about the past.

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