Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bananas matter.

This morning CW gave the background to the recent shortage of bananas in Australia:
I haven't eaten a banana since the end of March this year, when Tropical Cyclone Larry devastated Northern Queensland and wiped out most of the banana crop. According to the Australian Banana Growers' Council, 90%, $300 million worth, of our commercial banana crop was destroyed

Fig. 1 Inflation in the last quarter

Strangely enough I drafted a post about bananas last night. I tried to turn it into a comment on her blog, but it just grew too big. Here's my take on bananas....

It all starts with a tale about a proud king. This version is taken from Look Smart Find Articles.

Once upon a time, a proud, old king asked his daughters, "How much do you love me?"
"I love you more than gold and silver" one daughter replied.
"I love you more than diamonds and rubies and pearls," her sister said.
"I love you more than salt," answered the third daughter.
The king grew angry when he heard this last answer. "How dare you compare me to something as poor and common as salt?" he raged, and he banished the unfortunate girl from the kingdom.

Storytellers from many lands have long told versions of this tale. The details of each story differ, but the end is the same in all. The foolish father is served a meal without a single speck of salt in it. The food is so dull and tasteless he cannot eat it; and so he learns how truly valuable is common salt and he is reunited with his daughter.

Like the proud king, we are discovering what the lack of a common table item does to our daily life. CW talks about the personal effects of this deprivation, but there is another side. One that involves riches like diamonds and rubies.

Inflation is on the rise in Australia. Usually this is due to rising house prices, petrol going up again, resource prices lowering...but, this quarter what is applying inflationary pressure is ...bananas. Or rather the increase in price of fruit by 52%. Banana prices have increased 250%. (Source: As CPI goes bananas, RBA is sure to shift rate The Age Online, 25 July 2006)

I'm just tickled by the absurdity of economists mentioning my favourite fruit in the same sentence as "Reserve Bank" and "CPI". Should be more of it.

Mr3 has just been introduced to banana smoothies. I won't give an exact location, but most days we walk to a deli nearby and buy our overripe bananas for $4.99 per kilo.
The price of petrol was up by 11% in the last quarter also. I guess we're just doing our bit for the economy.


CW said...

How weird that we have both been thinking about bananas.. :) After I made my post, I listened to the radio and heard the news about inflation, so thanks for blogging it!

Kathryn Greenhill said...

I think that banana deprivation can do that to you....probably everyone in Australia is thinking of bananas much more frequently than they usually do. Even those economists.

ToxicPurity said...


I haven't had porrige for breakfast since the banana crisis began. It kind of puts a different slant to the notion of the Banana Republic, doesn't it? :)

Kathryn Greenhill said...

Or indeed a different curve?

Mmmmm porridge.

TB-) said...

We found a little shop in Esperance selling Bananas for 4.99 per kilo. We all pounced and devoured like we hadn't had them before!

Kathryn Greenhill said...

You've done it now. You'll see an exodus of cars leaving the city and heading that way. A weekend away and a pot of gold (well, yellow) at the end.