Friday, June 10, 2011

Just Say Dole, Pinapple that is...

Pineapple Fields, Wahiawa, Hawaii. In the old days, working in the Pineapple fields was a rite of passage in Hawaii. All the high school kids worked for Dole over the summer canning and picking pineapples. Dole-Hawaii pioneered the hybridization of the modern pineapple from its original bromeliad roots (thus, you will not find pinapples growing in the wild). Thus, while pineapples were a economic force in Hawaii from the time of the Hawaiian Monachy, the role of the pineapple in Hawaii has greatly declined. Sadly, even high school kids couldn't work inexpensively enough to stop the migration of the labor-intensive pineapple business to Taiwan and the Philippines. There, pineapples are cheaply grown and harvested for the canning business and, ironically, even for the fibrous biproducts which are used for wallpaper and furniture. There are still a few pineapple fields in Hawaii, largely for the fresh cut fruit market but even that is under pressure from foreign competition.

Pineapple in Hawaii: A Guide to Historical Resources.

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