BANANA on NPR's Fresh Air!

  • Listen to the interview here.

Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman recommends BANANA

  • Read the interview.

My Op-Ed in the New York Times

  • Are bananas a rational food for America?

A good way to learn even more about this book...

Upcoming Events/Recent Media

  • APRIL 26: The San Francisco Chronicle put Banana on its Top Shelf list of recommended non-fiction, calling it "an entertaining and provocative look at the banana and its role in changing the course of history."

    APRIL 26: The Green LA Girl blog just posted an interview with me, which follows up the review it did of my book last week. Lots of tips throughout the blog on green living and networking, and not just for (Los Angeles) locals only.

    MARCH 9: KCLU, the public radio station in Santa Barbara, did an interview with me in advance of a day I spent at California State University Channel Islands giving talks and seminars on bananas and writing. In it, I discuss a little how some of my views have changed since the book was published a year ago.

    JANUARY 7: The Huffington Post says that the book is "brilliant."

    DECEMBER 17: I'll be giving a talk at the Wilton Public Library, in Wilton, Connecticut. Topic: Banana Diversity - and replacing our threatened supermarket variety.

    OCTOBER 28: I spoke at the Latin American Institute of the University of Southern California about corporate fruit, alternate banana supply chains, and how to reverse a century of banana monoculture. More info here, and thanks to UCLA for hosting me!

    AUGUST 28: Fenella Saunders, writing in the September/October 2008 issue of American Scientist, said my book was "mouthwatering" and "eloquent."

    JULY 26: Radio New Zealand's "This Way Up," hosted by Simon Morton. This was one of the most enjoyable interviews I've done; the host is funny, and we got to hit on a lot of topics. Show link here. Podcast here.

    JULY 24: The BBC's Brazil Service features an article written by Lucas Mendes, based on an interview he did with me on the future of the fruit. (Brazil is the world's second largest banana growing country, after India.) In Portuguese. Machine-generated English translation here. A televised version of the interview with Mr. Mendes is coming up soon.

    JUNE 28: Vikram Doctor, writing in The Economic Times of India, features "Banana" in a an amazing two-part series that highlights the stunning diversity of his country's banana crop. This is truly a great article - you'll find dozens of different banana types listed here, along with stories about the way people eat (and love) the fruit in the world's top banana-growing (and most banana-crazed) nation. Part one here, part two here.

    JUNE 20: One of my favorite public radio programs - NPR's To The Point, syndicated out of my local station, KCRW, interviews me about the future of the banana.

    JUNE 20: The Daily Green uses the book and my New York Times column to put rising banana prices in historical context.

    JUNE 19: Stephen J. Dubner, writing in his Freakonomics blog, says that my article answers a question he's "long wondered about: why are bananas so cheap relative to other fruit, especially since a lot of the fruit we consume in the U.S. is grown here while bananas are not?" (The book goes into detail about this, and more, of course!)

    JUNE 19: Lewis Lapham, in The Huffington Post, writes about the book and the history of the banana republics in Central America.

    JUNE 19: WFMY News, Greensboro/Winston-Salem/Highpoint, North Carolina, offers a video report on banana prices; I'm interviewed in it. Video here. Article here.

    JUNE 18: Paul Krugman, again in his NYT blog, recommends the book.

    JUNE 10: Guest spot on "After Hours," Canada's Business News Network. Go here; my segment is about three-fourths of the way in. (I have to say, I need some practice for television.)

    MAY 22: Johann Hari, in The Independent, explains why "bananas are a parable for our times," and describes the book as "brilliant." This story was picked up in dozens of other media outlets.

    MAY 14: I absolutely love Scienceblogs.com - there are over a dozen essential commentators writing there - and one of my favorites is Razib Khan, who runs the Gene Expressions blog. He did an extended and thoughtful review of the book and the issues surrounding it.

    APRIL 23: Steve Mirsky interviewed me for the Scientific American's podcast. Topic: "Can Science Save the Banana?" Listen here. This was a fun one.

    APRIL 20: Paul Krugman, blogging in the New York Times, recommends my book. He's reading an electronic version of it on an Amazon Kindle.

    MARCH 17: The Nation calls "Banana" a "tale of a threatened species and the scientific heroes hunting to save the fruit," and a book with "a driving force and an urgency."

    MARCH 13: Banana on American Public Media's "Splendid Table" - the ultimate radio show for foodies. Station listing here. Direct download here. Podcast here.

    MARCH 8: Toronto Globe & Mail (March 8, 2008 ) calls "Banana" a "hard-nosed journalistic account" and "the book you've been looking for if you've heard rumours that the phallic golden fruit that adorns the breakfast table might be heading for extinction."

    FEBRUARY 18: "Banana" on NPR's "Fresh Air." Download/Podcasts here.

    FEBRUARY 14: Leonard Lopate's "Underreported," WNYC (New York Public Radio). Listen here.

    FEBRUARY 11: Interview on Public Radio International's "Marketplace." Listen here.

Discuss Bananas:

Filmmakers Under Fire

  • "The Affected" is a new documentary that chronicles the lives of banana and sugar plantation workers in modern-day Latin America - and has uncovered a startling, ongoing nightmare: an epidemic of kidney failure among sugar workers, possibly related to pesticide exposure. The work the filmmakers have been doing has led to the killing of one crew member, and threats on the lives of others. You can read more about "The Affected" - and learn how you can help - here.

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October 10, 2007

Comments

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What a bodice ripper. I had no idea one of my favorite fruits was in jeopardy.

I loved your previous book, To See Every Bird on Earth, even though it made me teary.

I always tagged Dan as "nuts." Now I have to reformat all data; he's officially "bananas." CONGRATULATIONS, DAN ON YOUR ONWARD DRIVE OF DOMINANCE!

Dan,

Your interest in Bananas is amazing. Good luck with your book, and I hope you can get some nice brazillian bananas...
If you ever come here again, in the Brazilian southeast shore we have the best Bananas of all. They are one bite sized, and ripe very fast. Usually we buy them by the branch, with 3 dozen bananas. If you take more than 2 days to eat them, it´s too late.

Sorry again if I´ve been too harsh.
Reagards,
Gabriel
http://www.donttalkaboutlife.com

Well written, well researched. Could there be a typo on p 258? Only 50,000 bananas daily? Maybe boxes? Truckloads? or maybe several zeros missing? Will someone please advise. Thanks.

you've got a way to go there guy.

haven't covered much of silver ridge,
franklin hills, or echo park east and
north of the lake. try the stairs from
the 1800 block of lucretia ave or go
way back north on echo park ave to
the end streets for spectalular views
of glendale and the san gabriel valley
opening. have fun? ps- there's spots
in echo park you can grow bananas-
wish i could remember where - used
to be a banana plantation on the
northern edge of la conchita, ventura
county beachside, still a few in the
carpinteria foothills. thankyou

I hate bananas!

Hello Dan,

I would be interested in hiking the staircases (4-5 mile) . Do you lead any hikes on the weekend or know anyone who does, i live in OC.

Regards,

Anju

Thank you for addressing this issue. I love bananas.

Good to see you singing tonight. Keep spreading the good b-word!

P. 250, "1920: The Fruit Dispatch Company is formed to distribute bananas in the United States."

The 1910 Sanborn map of Springfield MO shows, at the intersection of North Campbell & West Chase Streets, and next to the Frisco RR tracks, the Fruit House belonging to "Fruit Dispatch Co (New Orleans LA)." In 1910 my grandfather worked as a banana messenger for the FD Co and lived in Springfield.

nice move

As good, or better than "Salt", my last food related book. Your book is about the national American shame that no one ever heard of. It appears we will NEVER stop sticking our noses where they aren't wanted. I have always had a great deal of fun growing banana plants for the past 25 years. Naver had fruit, but did get a couple of blossoms. Hard to believe, flourishing banana plants in my house in Massachusetts. They are so easy to grow, everyone should have one! Great book!

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

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