Banana

The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World

Author: Dan Koeppel

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781594630385

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 281

View: 2775

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From its early beginnings in Southeast Asia, to the machinations of the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica and Central America, the banana's history and its fate as a victim of fungus are explored.

Banana

The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

Author: Dan Koeppel

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101213919

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 1372

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Read Dan Koeppel's posts on the Penguin Blog. A gripping biological detective story that uncovers the myth, mystery, and endangered fate of the world’s most humble fruit To most people, a banana is a banana: a simple yellow fruit. Americans eat more bananas than apples and oranges combined. In others parts of the world, bananas are what keep millions of people alive. But for all its ubiquity, the banana is surprisingly mysterious; nobody knows how bananas evolved or exactly where they originated. Rich cultural lore surrounds the fruit: In ancient translations of the Bible, the “apple” consumed by Eve is actually a banana (it makes sense, doesn’t it?). Entire Central American nations have been said to rise and fall over the banana. But the biggest mystery about the banana today is whether it will survive. A seedless fruit with a unique reproductive system, every banana is a genetic duplicate of the next, and therefore susceptible to the same blights. Today’s yellow banana, the Cavendish, is increasingly threatened by such a blight—and there’s no cure in sight. Banana combines a pop-science journey around the globe, a fascinating tale of an iconic American business enterprise, and a look into the alternately tragic and hilarious banana subculture (one does exist)—ultimately taking us to the high-tech labs where new bananas are literally being built in test tubes, in a race to save the world’s most beloved fruit.

Bananas

How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World

Author: Peter Chapman

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 0802192009

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 252

View: 683

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In this compelling history of the United Fruit Company, Financial Times writer Peter Chapman weaves a dramatic tale of big business, deceit, and violence, exploring the origins of arguably one of the most controversial global corporations ever, and the ways in which their pioneering example set the precedent for the institutionalized greed of today’s multinational companies. The story has its source in United Fruit’s nineteenth-century beginnings in the jungles of Costa Rica. What follows is a damning examination of the company’s policies: from the marketing of the banana as the first fast food, to the company’s involvement in an invasion of Honduras, a massacre in Colombia, and a bloody coup in Guatemala. Along the way the company fostered covert links with U.S. power brokers such as Richard Nixon and CIA operative Howard Hunt, manipulated the press in new, and stoked the revolutionary ire of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. From the exploited banana republics of Central America to the concrete jungle of New York City, Peter Chapman’s Bananas is a lively and insightful cultural history of the coveted yellow fruit, as well as a gripping narrative about the infamous rise and fall of the United Fruit Company.

Crunch!

A History of the Great American Potato Chip

Author: Dirk Burhans

Publisher: Terrace Books

ISBN: 9780299227739

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 2960

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The potato chip has been one of America’s favorite snacks since its accidental origin in a nineteenth-century kitchen. Crunch! A History of the Great American Potato Chip tells the story of this crispy, salty treat, from the early sales of locally made chips at corner groceries, county fairs, and cafes to the mass marketing and corporate consolidation of the modern snack food industry. Crunch! also uncovers a dark side of potato chip history, including a federal investigation of the snack food industry in the 1990s following widespread allegations of antitrust activity, illegal buyouts, and predatory pricing. In the wake of these “Great Potato Chip Wars,” corporate snack divisions closed and dozens of family-owned companies went bankrupt. Yet, despite consolidation, many small chippers persist into the twenty-first century, as mom-and-pop companies and upstart “boutique” businesses serve both new consumers and markets with strong regional loyalties. Illustrated with images of early snack food paraphernalia and clever packaging from the glory days of American advertising art, Crunch! is an informative tour of large and small business in America and the vicissitudes of popular tastes. Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Outstanding Book, selected by the Public Library Association

Pineapple Culture

A History of the Tropical and Temperate Zones

Author: Gary Y Okihiro

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520265904

Category: History

Page: 255

View: 6797

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Pineapple Culture is a dazzling history of the world's tropical and temperate zones told through the pineapple's illustrative career. --from publisher description

The Fruit Hunters

A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession

Author: Adam Leith Gollner

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476704996

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 285

View: 4238

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A historical account of the role of fruit in the modern world explores the machinations of multi-national corporations in distributing exotic fruits, the life of mass-produced fruits, and the author's experience with unusual varieties that are unavailable in America.

To See Every Bird on Earth

A Father, a Son, and a Lifelong Obsession

Author: Dan Koeppel

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1440627037

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 9017

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What drives a man to travel to sixty countries and spend a fortune to count birds? And what if that man is your father? Richard Koeppel’s obsession began at age twelve, in Queens, New York, when he first spotted a Brown Thrasher, and jotted the sighting in a notebook. Several decades, one failed marriage, and two sons later, he set out to see every bird on earth, becoming a member of a subculture of competitive bird watchers worldwide all pursuing the same goal. Over twenty-five years, he collected over seven thousand species, becoming one of about ten people ever to do so. To See Every Bird on Earth explores the thrill of this chase, a crusade at the expense of all else—for the sake of making a check in a notebook. A riveting glimpse into a fascinating subculture, the book traces the love, loss, and reconnection between a father and son, and explains why birds are so critical to the human search for our place in the world. “Marvelous. I loved just about everything about this book.”—Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman “A lovingly told story . . . helps you understand what moves humans to seek escape in seemingly strange other worlds.”—Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak “Everyone has his or her addiction, and birdwatching is the drug of choice for the father of author Dan Koeppel, who writes affectionately but honestly about his father’s obsession.”—Audubon Magazine (editor’s choice) “As a glimpse into human behavior and family relationships, To See Every Bird on Earth is a rarity: a book about birding that nonbirders will find just as rewarding.”—Chicago Tribune

The World and a Very Small Place in Africa

A History of Globalization in Niumi, the Gambia

Author: Donald R. Wright

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429996403

Category: History

Page: 308

View: 613

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The World and a Very Small Place in Africa is a fascinating look at how contacts with the wider world have affected how people have lived in Niumi, a small and little-known region at the mouth of West Africa’s Gambia River, for over a thousand years. Drawing on archives, oral traditions and published works, Donald R. Wright connects world history with real people on a local level through an exploration of how global events have affected life in Niumi. Thoroughly revised and updated throughout, this new edition rests on recent thinking in globalization theory, reflects the latest historiography and has been extended to the present day through discussion of the final years of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s regime, the role of global forces in the events of the 2016 presidential elections and the changes that resulted from these elections. The book is supported throughout by photographs, maps and Perspectives boxes that present detailed information on such topics as Alex Haley’s Roots (part set in Niumi), why Gambians take the risky "back way" to reach Europe, or "Wiri-Wiri," the Senegalese soap that has Gambians’ attention. Written in a clear and personal style and taking a critical yet sensitive approach, it remains an essential resource for students and scholars of African history, particularly those interested in the impact of globalization on the lives of real people.

Bitter Chocolate

Investigating The Dark Side Of The World's Most Seductive Sweet

Author: Carol Off

Publisher: Univ. of Queensland Press

ISBN: 0702258512

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 1922

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For most of us, chocolate is an indulgence synonymous with pleasure. But behind the sweet image of the cocoa bean there is a long history of exploitation, corruption, greed and slavery. In Bitter Chocolate, Carol Off traces the history of the cocoa craze from the eighteenth century onwards, through its evolution under such overseers as Hershey, Cadbury and Mars, and its connection to the violence in Cote d'lvoire, the West African nation that produces almost half of the world's cocoa beans. Groundbreaking and eye-opening, Bitter Chocolate is a social history, a passionate investigative account and a stirring exposé of the inner workings of a multi-billion dollar industry that has institutionalised misery as it has served our pleasures.

Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice

Author: Marjorie Shaffer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250021006

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 9141

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Filled with anecdotes and fascinating information, "a spicy read indeed." (Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed the World) The perfect companion to Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, Pepper illuminates the rich history of pepper for a popular audience. Vivid and entertaining, it describes the part pepper played in bringing the Europeans, and later the Americans, to Asia and details the fascinating encounters they had there. As Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds, said, "After reading Marjorie Shaffer's Pepper, you'll reconsider the significance of that grinder or shaker on your dining room table. The pursuit of this wizened berry with the bite changed history in ways you've never dreamed, involving extraordinary voyages, international trade, exotic locales, exploitation, brutality, disease, extinctions, and rebellions, and featuring a set of remarkable characters." From the abundance of wildlife on the islands of the Indian Ocean, which the Europeans used as stepping stones to India and the East Indies, to colorful accounts of the sultan of Banda Aceh entertaining his European visitors with great banquets and elephant fights, this fascinating book reveals the often surprising story behind one of mankind's most common spices.

Uranium

War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World

Author: Tom Zoellner

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101024526

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 4290

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The fascinating story of the most powerful source of energy the earth can yield Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order-whoever could master uranium could master the world. Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts and America would knowingly send more than six hundred uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security. Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe. In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it.

Where Am I Eating? An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy

Author: Kelsey Timmerman

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118639863

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 892

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Bridges the gap between global farmers and fishermen and American consumers America now imports twice as much food as it did a decade ago. What does this increased reliance on imported food mean for the people around the globe who produce our food? Kelsey Timmerman set out on a global quest to meet the farmers and fisherman who grow and catch our food, and also worked alongside them: loading lobster boats in Nicaragua, splitting cocoa beans with a machete in Ivory Coast, and hauling tomatoes in Ohio. Where Am I Eating? tells fascinating stories of the farmers and fishermen around the world who produce the food we eat, explaining what their lives are like and how our habits affect them. This book shows how what we eat affects the lives of the people who produce our food. Through compelling stories, explores the global food economy including workers rights, the global food crisis, fair trade, and immigration. Author Kelsey Timmerman has spoken at close to 100 schools around the globe about his first book, Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour of the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes He has been featured in the Financial Times and has discussed social issues on NPR's Talk of the Nation and Fox News Radio Where Am I Eating? does not argue for or against the globalization of food, but personalizes it by observing the hope and opportunity, and sometimes the lack thereof, which the global food economy gives to the world's poorest producers.

The Taste of Tomorrow

Dispatches from the Future of Food

Author: Josh Schonwald

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062188216

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 9301

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For fans of Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman, Josh Schonwald delivers a fascinating investigation into the trends and technologies that are transforming the world of food before our very eyes—from Alice Waters's micro farm to nanotechnology and beyond. Building upon the knowledge base we have gained from such books as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Schonwald takes our contemporary conversation about food a step further, debunking myths, clarifying controversies (such as the current storm over GMOs, or genetically modified organisms), and exploring the wild possibilities that food science and chemical engineering are making realities today—from food pills to new species of scratch-built fish.

Olive Odyssey

Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit That Seduced the World

Author: Julie Angus

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1771000066

Category: Cooking

Page: 344

View: 4933

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When Julie Angus visits her relatives in Syria, where they continue a centuries-old tradition of making olive oil, she understands that the olive is at the very core of who they are. Her curiosity piqued, she begins to wonder about the origins and history of this fruit that has meant so much to them. Angus, her husband, and their ten-month-old son embark on a Mediterranean voyage to retrace the route of the Phoenicians and discover who ate the first olive and learned to make oil from it, why it became such an influential commodity for many of the greatest civilizations, and how it expanded from its earliest roots in the Middle East. As they sail the dazzling waters of the Mediterranean, Angus and her husband collect samples from ancient trees, testing them to determine where the first olive tree originated. They also feast on inky black tapenades in Cassis, nibble on codfish and chickpeas creamed in olive oil in Sardinia, witness the harvesting of olives in Greece, and visit perhaps the oldest olive tree in the world, on Crete.

Forces of Habit

Author: David T. COURTWRIGHT

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674029903

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 3792

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Banana Cultures

Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States

Author: John Soluri

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292777876

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 1609

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Bananas, the most frequently consumed fresh fruit in the United States, have been linked to Miss Chiquita and Carmen Miranda, "banana republics," and Banana Republic clothing stores—everything from exotic kitsch, to Third World dictatorships, to middle-class fashion. But how did the rise in banana consumption in the United States affect the banana-growing regions of Central America? In this lively, interdisciplinary study, John Soluri integrates agroecology, anthropology, political economy, and history to trace the symbiotic growth of the export banana industry in Honduras and the consumer mass market in the United States. Beginning in the 1870s when bananas first appeared in the U.S. marketplace, Soluri examines the tensions between the small-scale growers, who dominated the trade in the early years, and the shippers. He then shows how rising demand led to changes in production that resulted in the formation of major agribusinesses, spawned international migrations, and transformed great swaths of the Honduran environment into monocultures susceptible to plant disease epidemics that in turn changed Central American livelihoods. Soluri also looks at labor practices and workers' lives, changing gender roles on the banana plantations, the effects of pesticides on the Honduran environment and people, and the mass marketing of bananas to consumers in the United States. His multifaceted account of a century of banana production and consumption adds an important chapter to the history of Honduras, as well as to the larger history of globalization and its effects on rural peoples, local economies, and biodiversity.

A History of the World in Six Glasses

Author: Tom Standage

Publisher: Anchor Canada

ISBN: 0307375110

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 4357

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Whatever your favourite tipple, when you pour yourself a drink, you have the past in a glass. You can likely find them all in your own kitchen — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, cola. Line them up on the counter, and there you have it: thousands of years of human history in six drinks. Tom Standage opens a window onto the past in this tour of six beverages that remain essentials today. En route he makes fascinating forays into the byways of western culture: Why were ancient Egyptians buried with beer? Why was wine considered a “classier” drink than beer by the Romans? How did rum grog help the British navy defeat Napoleon? What is the relationship between coffee and revolution? And how did Coca-Cola become the number one poster-product for globalization decades before the term was even coined? From the Hardcover edition.

Sweetness and Power

The Place of Sugar in Modern History

Author: Sidney W. Mintz

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101666641

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3119

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A fascinating persuasive history of how sugar has shaped the world, from European colonies to our modern diets In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry. He discusses the production and consumption of sugar, and reveals how closely interwoven are sugar's origins as a "slave" crop grown in Europe's tropical colonies with is use first as an extravagant luxury for the aristocracy, then as a staple of the diet of the new industrial proletariat. Finally, he considers how sugar has altered work patterns, eating habits, and our diet in modern times. "Like sugar, Mintz is persuasive, and his detailed history is a real treat." -San Francisco Chronicle

The Chocolate Tree

A Natural History of Cacao

Author: Allen M. Young

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780813030449

Category: History

Page: 218

View: 823

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"Young's readers will thank him for making life a bit more pleasant, both by improving the production of chocolate and by providing such entertaining reading."--"The Sciences" "Informative, valuable, and original."--"Quarterly Review of Biology" "Young has new and important things to say about the ecology and biology of cacao."--"Times Higher Educational Supplement" "Engaging."--"Booklist" Young provides an overview of the fascinating natural and human history of one of the world's most intriguing commodities: chocolate. Cultivated for over 1,000 years in Latin America and the starting point for millions of tons of chocolate annually consumed worldwide, cacao beans have been used for beverages, as currency, and for regional trade. After the Spanish brought the delectable secret of the cacao tree back to Europe in the late 16th century, its seeds created and fed an insatiable worldwide appetite for chocolate. "The Chocolate Tree" chronicles the natural and cultural history of "Theobroma cacao" and explores its ecological niche. Tracing cacao's journey out of the rain forest, into pre-Columbian gardens, and then onto plantations adjacent to rain forests, Young describes the production of this essential crop, the environmental price of Europeanized cultivation, and ways that current reclamation efforts for New World rain forests can improve the natural ecology of the cacao tree. Amid encounters with sloths, toucans, butterflies, giant tarantula hawk wasps, and other creatures found in cacao groves, Young identifies a tiny fly that provides a vital link between the chocolate tree and its original rain forest habitat. This discovery leads him to conclude that cacao trees in cultivation today may have lost their original insect pollinators due to the plant's long history of agricultural manipulation. In addition to basic natural history of the cacao tree and the relationship between cacao production systems and the preservation of the rain forest, Young also presents a history of the use of cacao, from the archaeological evidence of Mesoamerica to contemporary evidence of the relationship between chocolate consumption and mental and physical health. A rich concoction of cultural and natural history, archaeological evidence, botanical research, environmental activism, and lush descriptions of a contemporary adventurer's encounters with tropical wonders, "The Chocolate Tree" offers an appreciation of the plant and the environment that provide us with this Mayan "food of the gods."