The New York Times has an interesting little piece about bananas.
It hits the obvious bits: the familiar banana is a clone, unnaturally cheap because banana producers are incredibly exploitive of their workers, and oh, by the way, the clone is about to be done in by a fungus. It has a few errors: some markets in the US, including at least some Whole Foods, stock non-Cavendish bananas. But the funniest bit is the SHOCKING idea that bananas, as a result of this whole fungus thing and transport costs and what have you, might shortly cost more than a $1/lb. OMG!
Like, because us organic buyers haven't already been paying more than that.
Bananas were, in fact, the first thing I started buying organic, because it was the first thing I noticed that it really made a significant taste difference (this would be before I was fully indoctrinated to worry about pesticide residue and loooong before I got knocked up and started lactating). Eggs were around the same time.
The close of the article is the weakest part.
First: "What other fruit can you slice onto your breakfast cereal?"
Let me count the fruit! Apples, strawberries, pears (if you like them -- I'm not a big fan, but I've seen it done), kiwi (yup -- I was shocked, too; green! on cereal!). And that's ignoring too-small-to-slice but excellent-sprinkled (raisins, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants...). In a hostel in Knoxville, I watched a young man get the traditional way-too-big-bowl out, pour a small amount of cereal in it, load it up with at least as much fruit of various kinds, and then dump yogurt over the whole thing. Given that we were in Knoxville, I'm assuming sugar entered into it somewhere, but I didn't see any (other than what was presumably in the yogurt). I tried a variant later on with soy yogurt; it wasn't bad at all.
Second: "bananas have always been an emblem of a long-distance food chain"
I stayed at a guest house in New Orleans years ago with a banana tree -- with bananas on it -- in the courtyard. I didn't eat any of them (there were some rats in the courtyard that may have been eating ones that dropped, among other things -- yet another in a surprising list of places I've stayed that had a noticeable rodent population), but I sure smelled them.
Dude, that is some seriously northern perspective. OTOH, it's the New York Times. But an interesting article by a guy who apparently wrote an entire book about the banana and its effect on the world.