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Making an Impact with Fair Trade Bananas

Making an Impact with Fair Trade Bananas

Banana Fuel
by Team VPA Athlete Amanda @artcoderun
How many bananas does the average American eat in a year? About 26 pounds. How many bananas is that? 50 - 70 bananas per year. Which industry is most known for human rights issues? Which banana companies notoriously overfarm their soil? According to the Food Empowerment Project, the banana industry is known for building isolated communities that mask and shield severely underpaid migrant workers, human rights violations and environmental destruction. What to do about this issue? Eat fair trade bananas, such as those produced by Equal Exchange. The work of Equal Exchange is a David and Goliath story, as their social impact has successfully manipulated the marketing of fair trade bananas against large banana farmers, like Chiquita, causing positive change.

Bananas are a low cost food (runners like them - quick carbs, lots of potassium and they are less expensive than most energy gels). After a bit of education, I thought, “Bananas are becoming a staple. I’ll check back in a year or two to see how this adds up, regarding people and the planet.” Over the course of about two years, I’ve fueled my running with enough bananas to offset the destruction 100 Americans do in a year. That’s right, in just two years, this tiny vegan endurance runner corrects the negligence of over 100 Americans. Over 2700 miles, fueled by 5000 bananas. Sometimes running is body poetry.

How can you participate? The 4 most toxic industries are bananas, cocolate, coffee and cotton. Fuel your running with fair trade bananas, chocolate, and coffee. Wear ethically sourced cotton. Look for Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Oeko-Tex and Better Cotton Initiative logos.