Banana Republics – an old novel for a current era

11/2017 – the USDA Food Composition Database is still missing critically important information – and until we can discuss that there is much else that isn’t going to be discussed. Note – this is about my concern that the entire public is being victimized by inadequate health care options as well as the information missing from a public database, and the history likely involves the radioactive incidents and factory work that took place in Hanford, Washington. Adequate iodine supply helps protect the body and thyroid gland from developing cancer and yet instead of educating the public regarding that fact the opposite occurred. Radioactive iodine is treated as a therapy for detecting cancer with the use of X-ray machines and for destroying thyroid cancer. Emergency supplies of higher dose iodine are produced for use in case of a nuclear incident but long term adequacy of iodine would work just as well or better than a short term use of high dose iodine if/when a nuclear incident occurred. The negative health effects of radioactive iodine have also been tested on the U.S. public without permission in covert experiments that took place during the Cold War years. See number six: http://theweek.com/articles/622448/8-government-conspiracy-theories-how-could-right/

Another plant can help reduce radiation in the soil – sunflowers have been used to help clean up radioactive hazardous waste sites. So instead of growing banana plants it might be helpful in some areas to plant sunflowers. https://gardencollage.com/change/sustainability/scientists-using-sunflowers-clean-nuclear-radiation/

Happy Holidays anyway – food sources for iodine and selenium, another trace mineral that is important for thyroid health is collected in an initial draft on my newer website: https://effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-%26-thyroid

Don Quixote, USA is a novel by Richard Powell that I read many times as a youth. Banana growing was a serious love for a nerdy young man who joined the Peace Corps and went to a South American country to help teach others. Somehow in the ensuing comedic adventures and misadventures he managed to grow bananas and takeover a Banana Republic – it is never too late to catch up on the classics.

I read the Reader’s Digest version which is mentioned in this book review. Reader’s Digest publishes slightly condensed versions of full length novels and publishes a book that includes four novels. Having read a few of the novels in their original and the Reader’s Digest condensed version I would say, great job Reader’s Digest at putting books in young adult’s and adult’s hands. I have not read the full length version of Don Quixote, USA but trust that it is even better than the Reader’s Digest version. Part of their success might be in choosing great books in the first place.

Book Review: Don Quixote, USA by Richard Powell

The novel is also available in a Kindle version and has an all star review on Amazon: Don Quixote, USA .

Take home lesson – if you don’t like something don’t just smash walnuts, unless you can also grow bananas. Read Don Quixote, USA to find  out more.

/Or spoiler for those who like to take things the wrong way, when the nerdy looking Peace Corps first arrives he is met by the current dictator who liked to crack nuts – smashing them – with the handle end of his pistol. When the now swash buckling Peace Corps member finds himself in the dictator’s chair as the people’s choice he finds the desktop has rounded indentations that do hold the walnut in place for handing cracking with the pistol handle (or whatever type it was, I don’t quite remember). The point in my sharing this is about negative smear campaigns against information – why is iodine information being withheld from the U.S. public when it was once available. No other nutrients seem to be missing and several non-nutrients are included. In 2012 I had an account on a social media site and multiple fake looking accounts were following it in a way that seemed to be trying to link me to the President in office at the time – I closed the account as the simplest way to end the parody followers attempt at a negative smear campaign. I didn’t know who might have been behind the fake looking followers but there were many of the same type of persona.

More on the less amusing history of the term Banana Republic is available on the Smithsonian website: Where we got the term Banana Republic. 

The take home lesson – don’t let your country be taken over by a business dictatorship where money talks, dictators listen, and everyone else asks how high to jump because they know that more than walnuts will be smashed.

Disclosure: Among my many houseplants I have grown a banana plant. they would need more sun than normal indoor light provides to actually produce fruit but as a large, lovely green tropical plant banana plants grow quickly and easily. https://www.thespruce.com/grow-bananas-indoors-1902483

Growing bananas in the right outdoor climate is relatively easy because new sprouts grow around the base of the older fruit bearing plant which can be the size of a small tree. The individual small plants can be dug up, and replanted with more space around them so that they all will be able to have the nutrients and sunlight that they will need in order to become a fullsize fruit bearing plant. I’ve never grown more than one potted plant banana but the book explains the process and it is an important part of the story – the young man changed himself in the process of helping the struggling people grow a more productive product for export. The dictator was overthrown by the will of the people who had grown to appreciate the young man’s help.

The Peace Corps volunteer knew about the amazing properties of the banana plant and his hard work led to a productive country, while the dictator that had been in charge knew more about cracking walnuts. The book includes details about growing bananas as the problem with the dictatorship at the time was a lack of productivity and lack of income.

The lesson isn’t about one Peace Corps worker or one dictator, it is about the group of people learning productive skills – no one alone can grow an entire field of bananas – it took a while for the young man to get enough interest and help.

A row of immature banana plants that need to be separated and replanted in a field. Or needed to be separated and replanted before they got this big. Ideally the sprouts would be used when they first appear and are only a few inches tall. This row would have roots that are too intertwined to be able to be separated.
A full size banana plant in the autumn, with a row of immature sprouts at the base – used for decorative purposes, I just happened to notice them.

And a daily reminder iodine content in our food supply was removed from a public database. This would not have been an accident – government agencies do what they are told. Why would the Obama Administration want to remove iodine information from public use? and why would the Trump Administration continue the policy? Food sources and other information about iodine and selenium is collected in a draft form on a different website: G9: Iodine & Thyroid

Where’s the iodine? Still missing from the USDA Food Composition Database, November, 2017.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Banana Republics - an old novel for a current era by