Okay, I have to admit succumbing to the marketing part of this, but it is pretty cool. Using a code on the label of a banana, you can see where that banana was grown, and who grew it. That is pretty slick. I understand the mantra of buy local, and living in a strongly agricultural community I know some of the people who grow the food I eat (which is pretty cool in and of itself). Regardless of how you feel about buying from someplace outside of your local area (Hey, it’s a banana. It’ll be outside of my local area.), seeing the source of food removes a few more layers of distance between the tables of far too many (sub)urbanites and the soil.
Full Reprint Below
Banana Code Connects Consumers & Farm
“In a world where the concept of ethics seems to have gone bananas, it turns out that bananas can teach a lesson or two about ethics,” observes Andrew Wooldridge, of Inside Work. With the launch of doleorganic.com, consumers can use the three-digit code on labels for Dole organic bananas to virtually visit the farm where the fruit was grown: view the fields via Google Earth; read e-mails from farm workers; learn about the growing regions and their local communities.
“Customers can personally monitor the production and treatment of their fruit from the tree to the grocer,” says Wooldridge. “The process assures the customer that their bananas have been raised to the proper organic standards on an environmentally friendly, holistically minded plantation.”
The site reflects Dole’s dedication to transparency, sustainability and corporate responsibility. It’s these kinds of practices, together with the company’s commitment to nutrition education, which won Dole recognition in Ethisphere Magazine‘s 2007 World’s Most Ethical Companies Ranking, as the most ethical company in the “Agricultural & Food Processing” category.
Doleorganic.com includes a blog, which features correspondence between an American consumer and workers at the Don Pedro Farm in La Guajira, Columbia. One letter is from a harvester, Hicho Arpushana, of the Wayuu Indian Tribe, who says, “Because people like you choose our product, I have a good job in this farm and my wife and seven children have a better life…I will keep harvesting the best bananas for you.” Likewise, the consumer says she will now be thinking “of the people and the beautiful landscape at Don Pedro Farm every time I eat a Dole organic banana.” She’ll also be enjoying a bevy of nutrition benefits, including:
- Heart health: Bananas’ fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content make them a Superfood for the Heart.
- Early banana consumption is associated with lower risk of childhood leukemia.
- Bananas’ prebiotic fiber feeds your “good” gut bugs so they can fight the bad gut bugs and protect you from foodborne viruses.
- Children who eat just one banana a day have a 34% less chance of developing asthmatic symptoms.