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4 Foods That Can Never Be Green

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4 Foods That Can Never Be Green

By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline

If you’re like me, you do what you can for the environment. While I haven’t progressed to giving up toilet paper or line-drying my laundry, I take public transportation, I compost and recycle at home, and I forego bottled water along with most disposable shopping bags. It’s the little things, right?

One of the little things I do is get most of my food from our local farmers’ market, because it’s hard to deny that large-scale commercial agriculture has some pretty depressing side effects, both for our health and for the environment. I’ve adjusted to eating free-range organic eggs, fruit grown without pesticides, and heirloom beans harvested by hand. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to green our food sources, there are some items that are unusually hard on the environment—and there’s not much we can do about it.

Bananas
Consumed in larger quantities than apples or oranges are, bananas are the most popular fruit in America. But they’re also one of the most labor-intensive products, and they have one of the largest carbon footprints. One big problem is that in the United States, there’s almost no such thing as a local banana—the fruit grows only in tropical climates. The vast majority of bananas for sale in America come from Ecuador or Costa Rica, so they’ve been packaged, refrigerated and treated to prevent ripening, and transported thousands of miles, using up large quantities of fuel and energy.

On the plantations where they’re grown in Central America, South America, the Philippines, and elsewhere in Asia, growers use massive amounts of pesticides. The banana’s thick skin makes the pesticides only a minor threat to humans, but the runoff harms the region’s soil and wildlife. Not to mention that the growers clear rain forest away for banana cultivation, further harming the land, and that the main banana-growing companies have a long history of human-rights violations due to their inhumane treatment of their mostly poor and indigent workforce.

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Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Environment, Food

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At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

197 comments

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2:01AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

Thank you :)

8:34PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

thanks

5:31AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

thanks!

4:57AM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

Lika S has it right. I don't know why some people have no clue when they go "OMG eat local eat vegan It is possible, and better for everyone!!1111"

then make their head explode by saying "what about people in Alaska?". they may counter with "plants exist in Alaska!"

all you can do is eatlike ancestors did in winters then. pickled, dried, potatos and squash. and just eat viatemns in the winter.
to be a localvore, organic vegan. or move south.

2:27AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Well, in a perfect world, we'd eat 100% local.

But, it's not a perfect world, and living in Wisconsin, it's bad enough that we often have low vitamin D levels because we don't get enough sun during the winter...

And of course if we only ate local, we would have difficulty getting all of the veggies we need at a reasonable price. Sure, obese people would lose weight, but, thin people would starve to death. Really.

2:13PM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Again, go organic and vegan

9:26PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Good to know, thanks

5:10AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

thanks!

2:28AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Thank you !

10:06PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

interesting

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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