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According to Rainforest Relief, Americans should still avoid purchasing bananas altogether and instead opt for fruit grown locally, such as apples, peaches, cherries or pears.

Banana plantations were infamous for their environmental and social abuses, which included the use of dangerous pesticides, poor working conditions, water pollution and deforestation. Pesticide-impregnated plastic bags, which protect bananas as they grow, often littered riverbanks and beaches near banana farms, while agrochemical runoff and erosion killed fish, clogged rivers and choked coral reefs.

The group is hopeful that its work with farm cooperatives growing organic bananas under the shade of a diverse forest canopy in Costa Rica can eventually drive the larger international banana market toward better land use and worker safety standards.

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