$1.80 for a banana! Unbelievable! I was outraged. They grow bananas in Australia, after all. Why are they so expensive? Then a girl in the hostel told me that there had been floods in Queensland which had wiped out banana plantations. The price went up from $1.99 a kilo to $10.99 a kilo overnight.
Back in the UK you never see agricultural crises having that kind of impact on produce prices. We import fruit and veg from so many different countries that if one supplier’s prices shoot up, we just start bringing stuff in from elsewhere.
I think it’s nice that Australia supports its own producers to the extent that they’ll sell bananas at almost $11 a kilo rather than import them from abroad.
Saying that, consumers aren’t necessarily supportive enough of growers to pay such inflated prices for goods. Another lady at the hostel, Margaret, told me that her friend who works in a supermarket frequently finds discarded banana peels tucked in amongst the fruit because people have been sneakily eating them in store rather than paying for them.
When I opened my grocery bag in the kitchen Margaret cried out, “Oh my God, you’ve got a banana!” as though I’d just pulled a white truffle out of my carrier. I began to feel quite alarmed about keeping my banana in the kitchen. Was it safe there? Should I lock it up in the storage area under my bed? I carried it around with me for about half an hour before I decided to just eat it. One less thing to worry about.