ANTH 3001 Week 3 Costa Rica – Pineapples

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After conducting research on the origins of my Del Monte Gold “Ready to eat pineapple,” I have discovered that the pineapple industry in Costa Rica is causing significant environmental damage and subjecting its population to poverty wages.

Fernando Ramirez, a leading agronomist at the National University’s toxic substances institute, explains that the production of perfect luxury pineapples from tropical monocultures requires a cycle of agrochemicals. Pineapple cultivation demands large quantities of pesticides, approximately 20kg of active ingredients per hectare per cycle. This process sterilizes the soil and eliminates biodiversity. Typically, 14 to 16 different types of treatments are used, often applied multiple times. The chemicals used in Costa Rica, although legal, include some of the most controversial in the world. They pose dangers to the environment and human health, including being known as hormone disruptors and cancer-causing agents (Lawrence, 2016).

The excessive use of herbicides and pesticides has resulted in contaminated ground water in the affected areas. For over three years, approximately 6,000 residents in the villages and surrounding regions have had to rely on tanker deliveries for drinking water due to the unsafe ground water. Tests have revealed contamination with agrochemicals used in pineapple production, including substances linked to cancer and hormone system disruption. Despite the government’s acknowledgment of the issue, water deliveries can be irregular and inadequate, leaving residents dependent on contaminated piped water for washing and sometimes even drinking (Lawrence, 2016).

ANTH 3001 Week 3 Costa Rica – Pineapples

While Costa Rica boasts the best healthcare system in Latin America, not all of its population enjoys these benefits. Indigenous peoples in Costa Rica face exclusion from economic development, social services, and legal protection. Although the government provides insurance coverage, known as Aseguardos por el Estado, indigenous communities often struggle to access healthcare, emergency care, clean water, and maintain ownership of their land (Araya, Lherisson, & Lomberk, 2014).

The impact of globalization and commercialization on indigenous populations should be considered holistically. When rivers are polluted, forests are destroyed, and a few individuals become wealthy at the expense of the environment, it directly affects the survival of indigenous communities. It hinders their rights to live according to their own cultural traditions (Ridgeway, 2007).

Socially conscious consumers play a crucial role in supporting social change. They actively seek out products and services from companies that demonstrate responsible behavior towards people and the environment in the communities they operate in. These consumers are motivated by a sense of social justice and are often engaged in online platforms to educate others about local and global causes. Their commitment to social change can extend throughout their lives (Walden University, 2013).


Walden University. (2013, December 10). New Walden university study reveals Six distinct types of social change agents around the world. 

Lawrence, F. (2016, January 10). Bitter fruit: The truth about supermarket pineapple. The Guardian.

Araya, K., Lherisson, B., & Lomberk, J. (2014). Pesticides, Pollution, and People: An Overview of Public Health and Environment in Costa Rica. Retrieved April 6, 2016, from [Link not available]

Ridgeway S. Globalization from the Subsistence Perspective. Peace Review [serial online]. July 2007;19(3):297-304. Available from: SocINDEX with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 6, 2016.