Avatar Banana safari

The modern world is an amazing place. I went to the kitchen a bit hungry, just hoping to peel a banana and let that squishy yellow mush satisfy my snack reflex.

But my banana had other plans. Look at this sticker.

“Visit my farm!” it says. Well, you’re damn right I’m going to visit your farm, Mr Banana. Let’s do this.

Slam those numbers into the Dole website and you can join me on a banana safari. Welcome to farm 10608, the Guapiles 2 Farm in Costa Rica. Here’s some Guapiles Facts.

  • Costa Rica is home to over 100 volcanoes, five of which are still active.
  • The farm meets the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management, relating to waste management and air, water and soil contamination.
  • All plastic waste is collected, sorted and reused or compressed into bales and recycled.
  • The farm’s full official name is “Guapiles 2: This Time It’s Personal”.
  • It’s 6.03pm there right now, and 23 degrees celsius. (This one will vary in accuracy depending on when you read it.)
  • 204 people work here.
  • The farm is in a region called “Limón”, despite growing bananas, not lemons.

So far, so absolutely brilliant. Obviously, the next thing I wanted to learn was the story of the grinning bloke at the top of the page, who obviously loves his life at Guapiles 2. I want to know whether he knows the other 203 people by name, and whether he gets involved in collecting, sorting, reusing or compressing into bales and recycling the farm’s plastic waste. I want to know how he feels about the ISO 14001 certification, and whether he thinks Guapiles 2 is ready for ISO 14002 yet.

We will never know the answers to these questions. It turns out that Pedro – he’s definitely called Pedro – doesn’t work at Guapiles 2. Smash any five digit number into Dole’s palace of lies and there he is, pretending he works at Perla 3 where it’s now 29 degrees celsius, or Zurqui C near Sarapiqui, or one of just 70 people working at the evidently very exclusive San Jose 2.

Pedro has let me down, an agent of Dole, purveyors of fantasies and ruined dreams. I don’t know what to believe any more. It seems crazy that I ever thought you could grow bananas in a place called Lemon. How foolish I have been.

I threw the bananas in the bin, and had a Twix instead.

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