No More Big Banana

Big Banana Coffs HarbourAustralia is home to the Big Banana, it’s the staple of every shopping trolley and features in lunch packs of children throughout the nation. In fact Australians love their bananas so much they compete with Coca Cola for the number 1 product sold by supermarkets week in week out.

Well that was the case until flaming bananas skyrocketed to $14.00 plus per kg. For the American audience that’s around US$30 per pound.

Prices per banana, one single banana, now range upwards of $2.00 each – well that settles the daily lunches. Better start enjoying a good red delicious apple at $2.49 per kilo!

Going Bananas

I know this is a bit of a rant, but food prices are absolutely going through the roof. It’s not just bananas, it’s the overall food bill – to eat fresh produce is incredibly expensive.

For the same $2 it costs to get a banana I can purchase the Double Beef ‘n’ Cheese hamburger at McDonalds. Surely this is a much more preferred option for our children’s lunch boxes!

Ridiculous statement I know, but you get the point. Total fat in a banana – a whopping 1 gram, in the McDonalds Double Beef n Cheese hamburger – a modest 23.4 grams. But it’s 5 cents cheaper than the average banana!

While bananas get smaller we’re getting bigger.

The Case of the Missing Bananas

Quite obviously the plight of Australian bananas has been subject to Cyclone Yasi: the crops were wiped out, limited supply – same demand – increased price. Simple economics

Yet who is the recipient of these huge margins, the bananas that are left certainly didn’t cost more to produce, they didn’t cost more to transport, nor to pack or store. So where is the additional $9 – 11 per kilo going?

Oh to be altruistic and suggest the additional costs are going back into the rural communities that were destroyed. That cockey’s are getting together to rebuild their farms on the back of the generosity of the major supermarkets. That the Country Women’s Association are receiving sizable grants in support.

Call me skeptical, call me naive, but I’m guessing there hasn’t been much of a boost in the donations to CWA.

Well they say it only takes a few weeks to form a habit. How long can these prices sustain? I can only imaging the wastage that’s occurring – very few people are putting bananas in their trolley now.

Some Banana Facts

So farewell to our bananas, the love of our nation, the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the wonderful herb growing plants that produce this golden, sometimes purple fruit!

Did you know …

  • Banana plants are the largest plants on Earth without a woody stem. Belong to the same family as orchids and lillies.
  • India is the largest producer of Bananas in the world
  • There are over 500 varieties of bananas including purple ones
  • They grow bananas in Iceland … seriously, Google it!
  • Fidel Castro’s dad was a banana plantation owner.

All in all I’m not going bananas anymore! I’m moving onto oranges, at least in Australia they are now in season.

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6 responses to “No More Big Banana

  1. Hey Corri,

    Thanks for sharing this great post. I am in the US and before I actually reached the part of the post in which you mention this, I immediately started thinking about how the news is all over the US citizens for being obese however, likewise here, nutritious food, that in theory could almost be free if we were able to all grow our own, is soooo expensive, who could afford to be healthy? And then yes….to your point…who benefits by the increased pricing?

    • Thanks Boschii, spot on about obesity … with age many of us struggle to find time to exercise, along come kids, work, other commitments – and all the while we eat increasingly fatty foods. Whole other blog really!

  2. Australia doesn’t import bananas then? I prefer peaches and nectarines but I can understand the frustration; bananas are quite nourishing. We are encouraged to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day in the UK and there is growing evidence that antioxidants have huge health benefits. The potassium in bananas has a few health benefits too.Let’s hope the banana growing farmers get back to normal.

    • Mike, minimal fresh food imports to Australia, especially of products available year round. I also prefer summer fruits but only available around Christmas time for us! The 5 + 2 campaign is running in Australia too – yet it proves quite expensive when competing with fast food outlets that offer up meal deals at half the price of a healthier alternative.

  3. Yes what an amazing herb this banana! I thought growing bananas in Melbourne was something but Iceland, talk about adaptation. This is a great post and I really do like your subject matter, so I’m your latest subscriber 🙂

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