Thursday, July 28, 2011

Switching to Organic Bananas

At the two supermarkets (Fairway and Whole Foods) where I do most of my food shopping, conventional bananas are $0.79 per pound. Organic bananas—healthier for us, the workers on banana plantations and the environment—are $0.99 per pound.

Considering the average banana weighs about one-third of a pound, an organic banana costs seven cents more than a conventional one
($0.33 versus $0.26).

Assuming a banana-a-day-habit, switching from conventional to organic bananas translates into about $25 per year.

Need more convincing? From BananaLink, an English non-profit that "campaigns for a fair and sustainable banana trade":
"Intensive methods of production are used to maximise productivity creating high quantities of waste and pollution, soil erosion, deforestation and a steady increase in pests and diseases that can only be fought with more harmful pesticides.

"Bananas produced for export consume the largest volume of chemicals of any crop except cotton and the use of over 400 agrochemicals in the banana industry is—literally—fatal for both workers and their environment."
If your budget is tight, considering shrinking portion sizes of other foods to free up the $25. For example, most brand name cereals—many nutritionally deficient—cost about $5 per box. Finding a way to make a box last longer can help facilitate the switch to organic bananas.

Replacing boxed cereals with homemade oatmeal will get you a Mercedes, but that's another story for another day.

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