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Old 12-06-2009, 11:20 AM
 
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I like apples way more than bananas. I'm somewhat perplexed by the price differences. Apples can grow just about anywhere in Midwest, NE, South (with a few days of frost), yet bulk of the American apples is grown in WA semi-desert. WA+NY+MI > 60% of apples grown. Apple industry worked hard to decrease variety of apples sold from 600 (early 1900s) to 5-6 (today). Yet, the prices of 1lb of apples (at the peak of season) is about twice of that for 1lb of bananas. bananas only grow in equatorial environments and have to be shipped quite a distance. It takes months to mature. Why apple prices cannot be brought down to banana levels?
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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Banana plantations are productive year round, or at least the distribution channel is broad enough that the various zones are all integrated so that the supply is constant year round.

Apples are seasonal, and whenever there are peaks and valleys in supply the price is pretty close to impossible to flatten. Further the competition for alternative uses of the land that apple orchards occupy is much higher than the alternatives for plantations. Temperature regions can be used for a huge range of crops...
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
I like apples way more than bananas. I'm somewhat perplexed by the price differences. Apples can grow just about anywhere in Midwest, NE, South (with a few days of frost), yet bulk of the American apples is grown in WA semi-desert. WA+NY+MI > 60% of apples grown. Apple industry worked hard to decrease variety of apples sold from 600 (early 1900s) to 5-6 (today). Yet, the prices of 1lb of apples (at the peak of season) is about twice of that for 1lb of bananas. bananas only grow in equatorial environments and have to be shipped quite a distance. It takes months to mature. Why apple prices cannot be brought down to banana levels?
And don't forget labor costs of $1 to 5 per DAY versus min $7.25 per hour..
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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IIRC, there are other issues with apple production. The elimination of one particular pesticide (alcar?) based on hysteria from junk science, the change that disallowed the use of "drops" (fallen apples) in various products, the flooding of the market a few years back with apples from China, and changing consumer patterns and store policies have all contributed to high pricing.

What blows my mind is that apples are now often higher in cost per pound than pork or chicken, which are a more labor intensive and complicated product. To me, it indicates the marketplace in general being corrupted and failing.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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Bananas are actually a superfood that are more nutritious than apples. Not only that, they taste better, and a way more resistant to pesticides. I am glad they are cheaper than apples.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Banana here cost .69 a lb at the grocery store I shop at.
Apples are $1.00 a lb.

I have to have a taste for bananas and I'm really getting into apples.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Bananas are picked when green, by workers earning pennies. They can be shipped or warehoused for months without harm.

Apples can only be picked when they are ripe, and they are picked by workers making a lot more money. Apples can not be warehoused.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Also I have read that from colonial days right up to prohibition days; that hard apple cider was the drink of choice.

Every region, every state could produce local apple cider, so no trucking was required.

During prohibition many things changed. Which may have included apple orchards being ripped out.

After prohibition beer became 'king'. There were no 'micro-breweries either. Big brewers ran factories producing massive amounts of beer and it was trucked coast-to-coast.



Also as a factoid, before prohibition all of the English speaking world used the term 'cider' to mean fermented apple juice. During prohibition one cider bottler continued to make their patented bottles, they filled the bottles with filtered apple juice and kept the labels calling it 'cider'. By the time that prohibition ended, the American consumer had gotten used to calling apple juice by the name: 'cider', so the name stuck.

Now in brewing circles, it adds to the confusion as consumers want to call juice by it's fermented name.

[did I mention that I have an apple orchard?]

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Old 12-07-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Read the history of United Fruit and in particular look at the involvement of the Eisenhower administration on their behalf in the 1950s. It will become very clear after that.

United Fruit Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Bananas are picked when green, by workers earning pennies. They can be shipped or warehoused for months without harm.

Apples can only be picked when they are ripe, and they are picked by workers making a lot more money. Apples can not be warehoused.
Apples can be warehoused for several months in cold storage, or longer in high tech cold storage.

US Apple: Consumers - FAQs: Apple Storage Technologies (http://www.usapple.org/consumers/storage.cfm - broken link)


bill
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