Once upon a time, a lovely lady banana decided to go on a trip. She bopped cheerfully through her tropical homeland to the seashore, where she boarded a luxury cruise liner. Once on board, the lady banana naturally requested first class. She wanted to be in tip-top shape for her arrival in…an American grocery store?
And thus goes Chiquita’s new advert for their famous banana brand. At a time when our dependency on oil has caused a devastating spill in the Gulf of Mexico, climate change is becoming increasingly problematic, and local farmers around the world are petitioning for people to buy their produce closer to home, Chiquita champions the shipment of out of season produce from abroad.
When Chiquita flies or ships their bananas to your grocery store, not only is CO2 emitted from the means of transportation, but also from the cooling and refrigeration systems installed to maintain the bananas’ freshness. When you purchase produce from a farmers market, the farmers receive about 90 cents of each dollar. After you subtract the costs of advertising, transportation, and distribution, farmers whose produce is sold abroad get more like 21 cent of each dollar. In addition to supporting the farmers who grow your food instead of corporations, buying local also bolsters a sense of community and enhances the place you call home.
So, please, don’t listen to Chiquita. Who cares if their bananas travel first class in a cosy little bed right to your door? You can get better fruit that’s actually in season from a farmer near your community. That way everyone wins: you get better fruit, the planet isn’t polluted from ships and planes carrying produce, and farmers receive fair wages.
A final note about this embarrassing advert: Even if you don’t watch the entire thing, please at least watch from the 23 second mark to see the anthropomorphised lady banana strip. That’s right, she gets naked. Apparently the objectification of women in advertising really is that bad. And wow did she have an easy time getting into the country! Let’s just hope she’s not headed to a grocery store in Arizona.