Review of Richard A. Hawkins, A Pacific Industry: The History of Pineapple Canning in Hawaii (London, I.B. Tauris, 2011)
As I wrote this review, Oxfam Australia was running a campaign to grow a drought-tolerant pineapple in Mozambique for people to eat, to trade for vegetables or to sell at the market. Pineapples ‘truly are the new superfood’, helping in the global fight against poverty, Oxfam declared. Meanings for food are malleable, yet I had never considered pineapple a superfood before. In A Pacific Industry, Richard A. Hawkins explores how pineapple was another potential ‘king’ crop in Hawai‘i – a superfood, perhaps, but its status in this context derived from the profits to be made from its industrial manufacture and marketing to well-off ‘First World’ consumers rather than from its role in supporting or nourishing some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
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