Fruits of Bona Fide: Bananas

By: Farah Motani, Education & Volunteer Coordinator

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One of the biggest eye openers for me coming to Bona Fide was learning about bananas (musa acuminata). Who knew that the seemingly simple fruit has such a big story to tell? What initially blew my mind was that banana plants only fruit once (yes, once!) in their lifetime. They are actually an herb that grows a baby sucker out of the main stem to produce another plant that will fruit within a year. Here at Bona Fide, we trim down the main stem which has a lot of water and nutrients to mulch around other plants. Another interesting fact I found out was that the world’s two largest banana companies, Dole and Chiquita, started refrigeration on boats, built cities and railway systems and invented radio communication strategies and cruise ships just to transport bananas from Central and South America to North America. That definitely made me think twice about why this tropical fruit, which is more popular to eat in North America than locally grown apples is so affordable, accessible, and reliable in places far from where they grow.

That being said, here at Bona Fide we are immersed in banana season which has provided for many great farm fresh snacks like bananas with cinnamon, gluten free pancakes, hash browns and even fries. Bananas contain lots of fiber, and many vitamins and antioxidants that assist with moderating blood sugar levels and aiding with digestion, heart and kidney health which make them the perfect fruit to munch on.

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Interestingly, the first bananas found were inedible due to seeds in the fruit, but evolved over time to what we are used to now. In North America, we only have access to one of the thousands of types of bananas (Cavendish) but at Bona Fide we have the perfect environment to grow eight other varieties, including one of the best tasting bananas I have ever tried – the banano manzana, or apple banana, which actually tastes like an apple! Banana season has definitely been an abundant one, and looking forward to many more months of this amazing fruit!

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