One of the things that I truly love about coming to Iona is the wide variety of topics that are discussed and discussed in ways that emphasize their significance to the world that I live in. I have already shared with you the information I learned about coffee in its various forms. This week we had an evening service on Bananas. (and that is pronounced BA nan as, not BAN an as).
It may seem a bit of a stretch to be the principal topic of a worship service, but when you learn about the regulation of bananas in contrast with other goods and materials, they do become an issue of justice. Do you know that large corporations, typically those in the US, control the sale and trade of bananas to such an extent that it essentially eliminates the fair trade of bananas? Meaning if you are a small plantation owner who does not want to sell you bananas to a large corporation, chances are you have no market available to you. So when you are purchasing those bananas with the lovely sticker on them, you are reducing and eliminating the possibility of financial stability for many people. The average banana plantation worker earns less than $1.50 a day. About the only sources of fair trade bananas are small cooperative markets and health food stores that seek out special bananas, like those delicious little red ones.
Further, the regulation and control over the sale of bananas is greater than that of weapons. The United Nations is emphasizing that fact this week, as they begin to look at controlling the sale of weapons to developing countries. Think about that there is more regulation over that banana you put in your breakfast this morning, than there is over the sale of AK-47 assault rifles.