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Given the fragile and perishable nature of the fruit ...

There had to be a downside to the availability of cheap and plentiful bananas in grocery stores far from where the fruit was grown. To this day, echoes of Harry Belafonte singing, "Come Mister tally man, tally me banana /Daylight come and we want go home," are a reminder of exploitative labour practices and unsafe working conditions historically associated with the banana industry. Belafonte is honoured on a stamp (fig.23) from a souvenir sheet of Grammy Winners from St. Vincent. Multinational fruit growers have engaged in industrial monoculture supported by the use of toxic pesticides and then abandoned contaminated plantations to cut down more forests for new plantations but the contamination was not limited to the environment; O. Henry's phrase "banana republic" has become a part of the English language reflecting the political corruption cultivated where fruit companies grew. Interestingly, O. Henry was honoured by a postage stamp in the Soviet Union long before he was so recognized by his native United States (fig24).

Painted Stork Nests

Painted Stork Nests

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© Derrick Grose, 2021