Bananas - price and availability : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Bananas - Could the Y2K thing affect the price and availability of bananas very much?

-- johan (, November 22, 1999


Ever heard of the "banana boat" or the "banana republic"????? Bananas are not grown commercially in the US. Ours come out of CA and SA. I KNOW Costa Rica is not compliant and lest you think bananas are compliant, I beg to differ. There are computers used in pesticides etc. And when the bananas form, but before picking, each hand of bananas is enclosed in a plastic bag with impregnated pesticides. I am sure the bags and pesitcides required computers. Don't know about the ships. Dole has special ships just for bananas. Yes....I think the banana mkt will suffer along with all imports. Taz

-- Taz (, November 22, 1999.

Just relized you email address is Panama. Why do you need us to tell you about bananas??? Are the ships going to work? Is the canal going to work? Are you in the banana business? If so, you need to ask at your end.

-- Taz (, November 22, 1999.

Because bananas are so highly perishable, there won't be much demand for them in Y2K...Now, canned bananas are a different story!

-- Slobby Don (, November 22, 1999.


Not real sure what direction this question comes from, so I'll attempt to cover a few bases realistically and honestly......

Consider this estimate is likely to be true for ANY commodity getting shipped from the South American fields for groceries here in the north: Chilean fruit, sardines, greens, or roses.....

Obviously, there is no y2k interfacing in growing the things. Any problems in fertilizer and the like are far in the future - although all modern bananas are highly cross-bred and artificially pollenated, so it there are very long lasting problems, the future crop is threatened.

Scarity? Very likely. They have to get picked, shipped to the coast, reloaded, and then shipped here...then moved and re-shipped in the US to (finally) get to your local store. All subject to delays and shipping errors and loading errors, though errors are slightly less likely where intensive manual labor is involved. Failure in the local infrastructures any along the path could stop things too - no lights, no power, no cranes, no hoists, no gas ...... all yield delays and stopped shipments.

The timing of the movement is also important - delays in moving/storing food that absolutely must be "fresh" when it arrives at the store are catastrophic. So bananas are threatened.

On the other hand, they are also perisable at the house, and although they don't require refrigeration, they also don't store well. Nor are they "mandatory" for health or cooking or medicine or survival.

So while there might very likely be shortages, particularly if the troubles are extensive or long-winded, few people will notice or care. The food prep industry could be harmed, but bananas aren't critical to most commercial recipes either.

Therefore, I don't see a price rise or panic over "Yes, we have no bananas for sale" signs. If you are commodities "futuring" look at canned goods or dried/boxed items. These are most likely to be in demand near year's end.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, November 22, 1999.

Yes we have no bananas.

-- Coco (gilligan@is.hoarding), November 22, 1999.

Stock up on baby food jars of bananas. Great for banana bread.

-- Carol (, November 22, 1999.

There goes the banana splits.

I hope some make it way through the broken code and failed chips. It would be downright depressing not to see bananas for sale for months stretches at a time.

-- Paula (, November 22, 1999.

Speaking of chips, this might not be a bad time to buy bananas, slice them into chips, and dehydrate them.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to last very well. Around here, at least, they tend to get wolfed down shortly after they come out of the dehydrator.

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 22, 1999.

I know they gas-ripen bananas. I don't know when though. That's another step. Too many steps...

-- Mara (, November 22, 1999.

But Yes!!!We'll have no bananas, we'll have no bananas for the rollover!!! Boy is my kid gonna be pissed!

-- Billy-Boy (, November 22, 1999.

Double-check your source on the gas-ripening , at least for banana's....

Those are deiberately shipped "green" (very much under-ripened) so they ar eless likely to suffer damage from bruising during shipping and handling.

Even at the grocery, they arrive somewhat green, and only require a little time after that to begin turing brown and spotted. Since most US consumers want the pure-yellow color that indicates frim (not the sweeter, but softer) spotted yellow color, stores would not want any pre-ripening at all.

Gas-ripening is used for several other shipped'd be interesting to speculateon the effects there..

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, November 22, 1999.

I took a tour through a Hy-Vee Foods warehouse in Iowa. They have an immense "cooler" (forklifts drive through it) for the sole purpose of storing bananas. The bananas come in green and are treated with ethylene gas (in the cooler)to promote ripening prior to delivery to the stores in the chain.

-- Sam Mcgee (, November 22, 1999.

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