Commodity Life Cycle : Bananas

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John Sills Professor Collins POSCI 3521 Commodity Life Cycle: Bananas Bananas are a staple in every region in the world. In the United States it is advertised as the breakfast fruit in an effort to make less nutritious breakfasts more nutritious. Bananas are one of the common, if not the most commonly consumed fruits due to their taste, but also their relatively inexpensive price. Real issues arise when people begin to question why a tropical fruit, grown thousands of miles away, can be purchased on the counter of a gas station for 69 cents. There is a real environmental and socio-economic cost associated with the Banana that is not factored in to the purchase price. World systems theory most closely aligns itself to the banana industry because of the hierarchy between producer and consumer that is required for Bananas to be so available at such an inexpensive price. Bananas were first grown for cultivation in South East Asia. The biggest producer then, and still to this day is India. Arab traders who inhabited most of the Middle East region, began trading the Banana around 327 BC. (1) It was during that time where began cultivation expanded into the Middle East and Africa, and then eventually reaching South America and the Caribbean. Large-scale production of Bananas began in the early 19th century. Before the 1880’s bananas were grown in areas that had extra space, but farmers didn’t alter the environment to accommodate bananas. After the 1880
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