~ posted by Ann G.
In order to celebrate tonight’s food fest at the Central Library, with exhibitors and speakers to encourage us learn about and appreciate our food even more than we already do, let’s consider one of the most ubiquitous foods around: the banana.
According to Chiquita Bananas, the average American eats 27 pounds of bananas a year—it is one of our most beloved fruits (actually, to be botanically correct it’s an herb). In fact, the very fact of our massive consumption of bananas is endangering the predominant variety, the Cavendish. The health benefits of bananas are quite amazing, since they are high in potassium and fiber. And they’ve caught the public imagination so much that there are banana museums in California and in our own Auburn.
Want to know more? Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World is a place to start (note—it’s not always a light read). Author Dan Koeppel takes us through the history of the banana, and the modern developments around its popularity that endanger it—and us. Similarly, in Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World, author Peter Chapman tells the story of how the banana spawned one of the world’s first multinational corporations. On a lighter note, check out the streaming video Gastronomie, which has short flicks on the latest research on bananas in Guadeloupe (including a banana recipe), and the video GM Bananas with more on banana research as a solution to malnutrition worldwide. And, if you take the kids to tonight’s program, take a look at Betty Goes Bananas for a glimpse of a sweet gorilla that MUST have her banana fix, and Once Upon A Banana, for the tale of the banana peel that didn’t quite make it into the garbage can.