I represent the satisfaction of eating a banana

Pesticide sprayer
Banana Picker
I am Andre and I am cutting down native rainforest so that banana trees can be
planted. I don’t like to do it because I played in this forest as a boy, but it’s hard to
find other work because the whole economy here is based on exporting bananas to
North America.
Hola, my name is Manuela and I work at the Dole plantation, planting hundreds of
banana seedlings a day. We used to grow our own food on my family’s land when
I was young, and we had more than enough to eat. When Dole moved to the area
and lowered the price we got for our bananas, we had to sell our land. Now I can’t
grow my own food and I don’t even make enough money to buy basic necessities
for my family.
I am Kenneth and I apply pesticides to the banana plants all day. I often have
headaches at the end of the day, and my nose and eyes burn. I don’t get paid very
much, so I can’t afford to go to the doctor.
I am the water used to water the bananas. If I’m not absorbed by the banana tree, I
flow into streams and lakes.
My name is Eduardo, I pick the bananas before they are ripe. They will ripen
during their 2,000 km journey to Canada.
I am Paulo, and I think all the banana plantation workers deserve health care,
healthy working conditions, and wages they can live on. However, I was fired
from my job for trying to organize a union to protect my rights and those of the
other banana workers. I know that Dole doesn’t care about us, only the money
that it makes.
My name is Mr. Garcia and I run a large banana plantation here in Ecuador. I’m
the boss of around 600 workers, so I can’t really take a personal interest in how
they live – I just know that they work and I make a living from Dole.
Good day, my name is Mr. Aguirre and I am CEO of Dole, a major bananaproducing corporation. We buy bananas low and sell them high. I make more
money than I can spend, but unless my corporation makes a big profit every year,
I’ll lose my job. Dole owns the plantation, export ships, transport trucks, and food
terminals. In our corporate world, we call this “vertical integration.” It increases
the efficiency of trade and best of all, increases our profits!
Hello, I’m Samantha, and I package the bananas, putting them into cardboard
boxes so they can be shipped all the way to Canada without getting bruised. It’s
not satisfying work, but it’s work!
Hi! I’m Ted the trucker. I start my day at 6 a.m. in Vancouver where I pack up my
truck with banana cargo that arrived earlier in the morning. I stop in for a coffee
and I fill up my gas tank. You have probably seen my truck driving into town.
Hello, I’m Nadia and I’m the manager of a grocery store. Every year we sell more
and more bananas. We display them at the front of the fruit section because they
have become part of the ordinary diet of folks all year round – winter, spring,
summer and fall.
Hi, I’m Sebastian and I buy bananas because they’re always cheap and tasty. I
wonder how they can be so cheap when they come from so far away. It’s bizarre
that apples are usually more expensive, and they grow around here.
I represent the cleared land that can now be used to grow food to feed people.
I represent the Ecuadorian economy that is totally dependant on cash crops like
bananas. In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for money as
opposed to subsistence crops, which are crops that feed the producer's family. It
used to be that small farmers in Ecuador would do a little bit of both, but
globalization and the drop in prices made it difficult for family farmers to survive.
I represent the forest habitat and ecosystem destroyed through deforestation.
I am the rare bird who lost its home when the logger cleared the forest in which I
lived, our species is now at risk.
I am the plant species that was lost when the rainforest was cut down. My
medicinal properties for humans are lost forever.
I represent the monocultured banana plantation that results in a crop that is more
vulnerable to disease and pests.
I am Edith, the daughter of Kenneth. Because we cannot afford health care, if my
father gets sick, I must work in the plantation instead of going to school.
I am the fish who was poisoned by the pesticides that were washed into my
I am the banana tree that, thanks to being sprayed by pesticides, was not destroyed
by the Black Sigatoka disease which destroyed millions of banana trees this year.
I am the bird that ate the poisoned fish – my offspring was so badly deformed that
it did not survive its first season.
I am the crop that grew quickly because I was irrigated.
I am the water table that is lowered by irrigating thousands of acres of bananas.
I represent the nutritional value that has been lost because the banana was picked
while it was still green.
I am the independent transporter who went out of business when Dole decided to
“vertically integrate” its operating system.
I am the tree that was cut down to make a cardboard box. I could have absorbed
1100kg of CO2 over my lifespan, but now I won’t be able to help fight climate
change, stabilize against mudslides or offer homes for other species.
I represent the mill that released toxic chemicals into the river while making the
I represent the greenhouse gasses produced by the coal-fired power plant that
powered the mill that made the box.
I represent the bananas that were protected from bruising by the cardboard box.
I represent the smog that was produced by the truck delivering the bananas.
I’m Fred – I have asthma that is much worse on smog days. Last year we had a
record number of smog days during the summer where I couldn’t even go outside.
I represent the money earned by the plantation manager.
I represent the profit that Dole makes when its bananas are bought by the grocery
I represent the profit that the grocer makes when someone buys a banana.
I represent the satisfaction of eating a banana –
Facilitator Cheat Sheet
Consumer – Sebastian
 Satisfaction of eating a banana
Grocer – Nadia
 Profit
Trucker – Ted
 Smog
 Asthma affected by smog
Packer – Samantha
 Bananas protected
 Tree cut down to make box – can’t fight global warming
 Water pollution from mill
 Greenhouse gasses from coal plant to power mill
DOLE – Mr. Aguirre
 Profits go up
 Independent transporter out of business b/c of vertical integration
Plantation Owner – Mr. Garcia
 Earns money
Banana Picker – Eduardo
 Banana loses nutritional value b/c picked green
Irrigation Water
 Water table lowered
 Wash pesticides into lakes and streams
 Poisoned fish
 Bird who ate poisoned fish and had deformed offspring
9. Pesticide Applicator – Kenneth
 Banana tree not destroyed by disease
 Daughter has to work b/c father is sick and can’t afford health care
10. Planter – Manuela
 Monocultured crop that is less resistant to disease and pests
 Ecuadorian economy dependent on cash crops
11. Logger – Andre
 Cleared land that can feed people
 Rare medicinal plant species lost
 Rare bird made endangered
12. Unionizer – Paulo
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