Monday, April 11, 2011


Bananas are a human invention

Bananas as we know them are a human invention from like, 5000 B.C. Because people are picky eaters and don't like seeds. So they made hybrids until they got away with the seeds. There are still tiny little seeds in banana, but they don't work.

The banana tree is not a tree

It's true! It's just a sneaky herb posing as a tree. A huge herb. Trying to be a palm tree

The banana tree bears fruit once and then dies

The banana tree or herb bears only one bunch of bananas and then dies. Luckily, it shoots a new "eye" (a baby plant) before dying. This cycle lasts for about ten years, and then that particular organism dies.

Bananas are at risk of extinction

Because of the two items above (man-made seedless fruit, herb thing), plus the plantation type of agriculture (lack of variety = genetic weakness) the super popular Cavendish bananas are constantly at risk. One aggressive bug or disease, and bananas would be extinct. In fact, the Cavendish banana we eat nowadays —which is at high risk of extinction— is a replacement for the virtually identical banana Gros Michel that went the way of the dodo in the 1960s.

Bananas are great for hangover

Bananas are awesome cures for hangover! That's because, like Coke (the soda, smart ass), they're rich in potassium. Eat one before bed or just after waking up (and going back to bed).

It's bad luck to bring bananas on a boat

It's sailors' superstition. Some ships even ban Banana Boat sunscreen or Banana Republic clothes onboard. Nobody really knows the reason for sure. Some say it's because ships carrying bananas have to go fast so the fruit doesn't deteriorate, and as a result they cannot fish. Some say that the ripe fruit releases methane that can kill the sailors. Hypothesis apart, this makes me wonder, how the invention of the banana boat was even possible?

You need nuclear science to extract juice from bananas

t's awfully hard to extract juice from bananas, even though they're 80% water. Have you ever tried squeezing one? Their molecular structure is just not very squeezable. The currently available banana juice is blended banana, not squeezed banana. Which is obviously cheating. But for some reason, Indian atomic scientists are trying to find a way to extract juice from banana. Yeah, atomic scientists. From the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Go figure.

A banana can be a weapon

In Monrovia, Maryland, a man hold up a store with a banana. The thief snatched one fruit from the counter and began hitting the clerk, who pulled out a knife. The man with the banana split with no profit from the crime, except for the banana, which was damaged by then. And in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a man hid a banana under his shirt and pretended it was a gun when trying to rob a store. He was caught by the store owner and ate the evidence while waiting for the cops. Strangely, he was charged with felony attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon. Not a very effective weapon, but a nutritious one.

Bananas are an important staple food

No surprise in being the most popular fruit, but ranking fourth as a staple food is not that expected (after wheat, rice, and corn). In some poor regions of the planet, bananas account for 70% of the dietary consumption.

India is the biggest banana producer in the world, followed by Brazil

n those countries, even though Cavendish is still king, there's plenty of variety of bananas. In Brazil, in any farmers' market one can find at least half a dozen types of bananas: baby bananas, plantains, purple bananas, apple bananas, silver bananas, and so on.

More on Brazil and Brazilian culture at The Good Blood
The Good Blood publishes a feature on fruits called Fruit Friday


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