Organic bananas are healthier snacks, support safe farmworkers, clean waterways and promote organic agriculture, which helps fight climate change.
Bananas are the most widely consumed crop in the world and New Zealand’s top selling fruit – with New Zealanders buying more bananas than any other fruit. That’s roughly 18kg a year or about 2 bananas a week per person.
Organic bananas are a simple and affordable way to add more organic foods to your diet. Here are 5 reasons to eat organic bananas.
- Support a Clean Environment
It’s common for conventional bananas to be sprayed with synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides. In theory, the thick, peelable skin of a banana minimizes the pesticide residues in the banana itself, however these sprays also seep into the soil and are absorbed by the plant, meaning the banana and its peel will have toxic residues. The chemical sprays also run off into waterways and eventually make their way into the ocean, harming all life in this ecosystem.
2. Safer for Farmworkers
Conventionally grown bananas are a pesticide intensive crop. Research shows that farm workers who are exposed to chemical pesticides suffer from more acute and chronic health symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues and skin irritation, along with an increased risk of developing cancer. Organic farmers often use natural fertilisers like manure and seaweed which are safer for workers and waterways.
3. Healthy Snacking
Bananas have a natural balance of sugars and fibre which provide a slow but steady release of energy, making them a perfect snack anytime of the day. The fibre is particularly beneficial as it is a type of prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut. Learn more about the connection between immunity and a healthy gut here.
The nutritional profile of bananas make a fantastic snack, with a good source of Vitamin C to support the immune system and an abundance of potassium which supports a range of essential body functions. Bananas are also an excellent source of antioxidants.
Bananas are very high in Vitamin B6, an essential vitamin which supports the nervous system and a strong, reliable immune system. As the body cannot make vitamin B6, it is important that it is sourced through your diet.
4. Boost Happiness and Wellbeing
The humble banana is also a natural source of tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids your body needs to function. Most notably, tryptophan is converted into serotonin, the hormone that supports a positive mood, mental wellbeing and happiness. No wonder so many people love bananas!
5. Support the Future
More and more people are becoming aware and concerned about the environmental impact of how our food is grown, not just locally but globally too. Organic farming and regenerative agriculture are sustainable farming methods with the potential to mitigate some effects of climate change by storing carbon in the soil, as well as support local ecosystems. Learn more about regenerative agriculture here.
Handy Banana Storage Tips
- Store bananas at room temperature until they reach preferred ripeness, then put them in the refrigerator. They can stay here for up to two weeks. The banana peel will darken, but the banana will remain firm inside. For optimum flavour, allow the banana to return to room temperature before eating.
- However, never store unripe bananas in the refrigerator, as the cold interferes with the ripening process. They will not resume ripening when removed.
- To ripen a banana faster, place it in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight.