Developed by J.R. Jamison on behalf of Kelsey Timmerman

Part III Bananas: Product of Costa Rica

Chapter 8:  The Banana Worker’s Commute

  1. Dole, aka Standard Fruit, provides 25% of the bananas to the world.  Bananas are considered a staple in most U.S. households.  Why aren’t the lives of Standard Fruit banana farmers better?
  2. Bananero workers commute by bike in the rain and in the dark to get to work each day.  What role should the company play in the safety of its employees’ commute?  Should the company worry about this?
  3. Costa Rica is the anti-venom capitol of the world, yet bananeros have been killed on the job due to snake bites.  How could the bananeros have better access to anti-venom?
  4. Juan lost his finger because of his work, has given 20 years to the company, and has an unsigned best worker award.  How is this inattention to detail on the part of the company similar to other major brands when working with farmers?
  5. Dole owns the local grocery where workers can buy food on credit and Dole subtracts what is owed from their paychecks.  What are ways in which Dole could re-tool their monopoly structure to provide a better life for the farmers?


Chapter 9:  Banana Worker for a Day

  1. EARTH University allowed Kelsey to work on their plantation for a day.  What are some immediate differences that you noticed between Standard Fruit’s practices and EARTH’s practices?
  2. How could Standard Fruit mesh some of these practices with their current model to provide a better life for the workers while remaining profitable?
  3. Farming has become about money and not food.  The more we demand, the more that is produced, the more the prices fall.  How has this demand impacted the environment?
  4. Through the work of EARTH University, smaller farms are showing it is more profitable to farm small, sustainable farms.  How is this helping the environment?
  5. There are over 1,200 varieties of bananas, though we eat only one.  How can our pallets change farming and create better lives for farmers?


Chapter 10:  Nowhere to Go But Bananas

  1. The shift to no pesticides and chemicals has hurt the pay of farmers, though better for their health.  Why has the stop of pesticides created a drop in pay?
  2. Lawsuits from pesticides led to multinational companies having to pay workers who filed suit but very little.  What loopholes worked in favor of the companies over workers’ rights?
  3. Bananeros have no other opportunities in the area other than working for life in bananas.  Juan advises Mario to find something else while he can.  What options are there for Mario?  What role do U.S. consumers play in Mario’s future?

Part III Bananas: Product of Costa Rica – Section Reflection   

Write a 500 word free write on your reflections from Part III of WHERE AM I EATING? using the following statements as prompts.

  1. Increase in demand, lower prices.
  2. Pesticides; pesticide free.
  3. Sustainable farming.
  4. Disease.
  5. The American pallet.