One of life's luxuries

The last time I bought bananas (a few weeks ago) I paid about $10 per kilo. They were pretty large bananas so I got four for around $8; $2 per banana.

The same day Mr Mum’s gone 2 Aus was looking for a snack before lunch, by this I mean two minutes before lunch – he was so hungry he couldn’t wait, so he grabbed a banana. I winced as I watched my $2 purchase disappear so quickly and thoughtlessly.

After lunch our youngest son requested a banana, which of course we agreed to. He loves bananas and they’re good for you. He ate a few mouthfuls and then left it on the table telling me he’d finished. I stared at the remaining banana (approx. $1.50) and wanted to scream.

My eldest son doesn’t like bananas (weirdo that he is), my husband had already had one, and I didn’t feel like eating 2/3 of a banana because I’d had a big lunch. But there was no way I was going to waste $1.50. I didn’t see the point of trying to keep it fresh, that never seems to work with bananas.

Munching through the $1.50 worth of banana that I didn’t really want I decided that the price of bananas in Australia really is driving me bananas!

The cost has been increasing since North Queensland crops were destroyed during the floods and Cyclone Yasi in February 2011. According to reports, 75% of banana crops were destroyed when Cyclone Yasi hit the Queensland coast.

The same report says that we should see prices fall in the Spring as new crops are harvested. Hope so!

Chatting to family in the UK, we asked how much they’re paying for bananas. They pay £1 for a pack of four or five bananas (about 20p per banana). We’re currently paying over six times more than them per banana, hmmm.

Of course, there are a number of factors influencing the cost of bananas in Australia at the moment, Mum probably doesn’t understand half of them, but we know it’s not fair to compare prices with the UK.

Bananas in the UK are sourced from all of the world. In Australia, to support local trade, bananas aren’t imported from elsewhere just to keep costs down and keep consumers happy. It’s impossible to be negative about this philosophy, especially when local traders are recovering from natural disasters; but in times of shortage the whole of Australia pays the price.

Still reeling from the $1.50 worth of banana I didn’t want, I passed the bananas at our local green grocer this week, wondering if they’d be cheaper than the supermarkets and hoping to get a treat for my youngest son. As this Photo Friday reveals, they are selling Queensland bananas for $13.99 per kilo. Shocked, I took a quick photo and headed for the apples and pears…

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