Bananarchy is Austin’s only frozen banana stand, established in 2009, offering ethically-sourced bananas dipped in Fair Trade, organic chocolate. You choose your dippings, you choose your toppings, the banana world is yours to create alongside your trained bananarista. Or, choose one of their curated specials! They also have weekly specials to keep things a-peeling, and offer a variety of vegan options.

Bananarchy operates out of two regularly placed food trailers: one at 1311 S 1st St. and one at 2420 Guadalupe St. at Space 24 Twenty. In addition to that, they also cater for many businesses, organizations, and individuals throughout the city and have participated in many local events, such as ACL.

Bananarchy is celebrating National Banana Day this year by pensively considering the state of the banana, while taking a bite of a delicious Fair Trade fruit. Email here to inquire about catering, start a dialogue, or challenge any of the facts listed above:

Owner, Laura Anderson, shared some insights on what’s happening with bananas today that you may not know about.

“What I am thinking about most today, since it is National Banana Day, is the problematic past and uncertain future of the fruit that so many people casually consume each day. Not everyone realizes that labor exploitation has been a huge part of the history of the banana trade, and that this is still an issue in some places today. The use of certain types of pesticides has also contributed to a high mortality rate among banana farmers,” Anderson said.

“And, because the banana variety that we commonly eat in the US, the Cavendish, is a monoculture–meaning that they are planted densely in one area without additional native crops and without crop rotation (which leads to eventual agricultural damage)–and because the Cavendish plants are clones of each other and cannot reproduce on their own–this leads to increased susceptibility to disease.”

“It is sad to think about a future where we would not have a fun fruit to cut up and put into our cereal, or where we would not have Bananarchy (tragic!), but even more of a consideration are the many people in developing countries that rely on bananas as a major source of calories. It would be better if more resources were put into growing more varieties of bananas so that the crops would be in less danger succumbing to disease, but right now there is little commercial incentive for that. The demand for this would need to come from markets and grocers.”

“We obtain our bananas from Whole Foods, which is currently the only place in Austin we have seen that carries Fair Trade bananas. These bananas are usually the Coliman brand, which are grown in Mexico. They are the Cavendish variety.”

On this National Banana Day, we’d like to encourage Austinites, before they take a bite of that delicious and funny yellow fruit, to pause for a moment and remember the complex path that it took to arrive in their hands. And for the short term, to:

1) consider buying Fair Trade organic bananas.

2) reach out to their local H-E-B, Central Market, Walmart, Randalls, and other grocery stores to encourage them to carry Fair Trade bananas.

For the long term, we need to think about diversity in the varieties of bananas we import, and create demand for more banana options that will ultimately be more sustainable for the world that relies heavily on the fruit.