Great news! But they’d better hurry—I’m tired of eating at Chipotle.
And the award for this month’s most ingenious new food product goes to… Tropicana Trop50. Spotted today at the grocery store. It’s orange juice, diluted 1:1 with water (plus a few chemical additives) and sold at a higher price in a smaller container—get this—as a “light and healthy” alternative to actual OJ. Because, you know, oranges are a leading cause of obesity and ill health.
A few fascinating things I’ve learned from Dan Koeppel’s op-ed, “Yes, We Will Have No Bananas”:
- Bananas travel thousands of miles, rather than hundreds, and spoil in weeks, rather than months, yet they cost half as much as apples.
- Americans eat as many bananas as apples and oranges combined.
- Bananas became popular in North America only after aggressive marketing.
- Despite the existence of more than 1,000 varieties, bananas in the US are all the same: the Cavendish.
- The Cavendish is inferior in taste to the banana our great-grandparents ate.
- Reliance on a single variety of banana will eventually result in another widespread crop destruction due to disease.
Bananas in Egypt were different—and grown locally along the Nile, no less. Now I feel guilty for calling them “weird bananas.”
Readers of food literature are familiar with the dangers of monoculture. It’s a shame that the industrial-age techniques we developed to make food cheap and accessible to everyone have also brought us inferior taste, reduced nutritional value, and increased susceptibility to disaster.