Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Come, Mr. Tally Man

It's easy to take bananas for granted. They're plentiful, consistently of good quality and cheap. The bananas we commonly buy are known as dessert bananas, grown in 107 countries and one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. India produces 23% of the world's crop, but all those bananas are consumed domestically. Ecuador is the biggest exporter nation. Their market share is an astounding 30%.

Bananas are actually 75% water. Chock full of vitamin C and vitamin B6, they are one of the best sources of potassium. We normally discard the peel, but in other cultures it is eaten and sometimes dried bananas are ground into flour.

For many years, colonies in the Caribbean provided Europe with the fruit and during the 1930s, coffee and bananas accounted for 75% of Central America's exports.

The 1930s picture above is of banana brokers and workers at the dockside warehouse in New Orleans, complete with a "banana belt" conveyor. The picture below is part of the State History Collection of the University of Utah. It was made by Harry Shipler, a commercial photographer in Salt Lake City. It shows the banana room of the Ryan & Virden Fruit Company in 1913.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

You find the most interesting facts to share.

Re: your comments on my last few blog posts....

We were married at St. Mary's in Mt. Angel, OR...gorgeous church.

The low tide photo is actually a picture taken along the estuary at Whalen Island, Tillamook County, OR...ocean in the distance.