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Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States
Publisher: University of Texas Press | ISBN: 0292712561 | edition 2006 | PDF | 337 pages | 5,8 mb
This book began as a research question focused on the relationship between social and environmental change in Honduras. Over many years, it has evolved into a study of the mass production and mass consumption of bananas—the most frequently consumed fresh fruit in the United States. The title refers both to the tropical places where export bananas grew and the cultural spaces where bananas were consumed.When I first became interested in the topic as an undergraduate in the late 1980s, events taking place in Honduras and Central America routinely made headlines in the United States. Today, the U.S. government’s latest effort to ‘‘install democracy’’ has shifted public attention to other places and commodities. In Honduras, the value of exports of apparel now dwarfs that of banana exports. However, this ought not to discourage serious reflection on the history of bananas—an important internationally traded commodity that gave rise to, among other things, the United Fruit Company, one of the first and most powerful transnational corporations of the past century. Living in an era when many people seem at a loss to imagine a world not dominated by corporations and mass markets, it strikes me as imperative to reexamine the historical processes that have shaped places where commodities are produced and consumed.