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Have you ever noticed how 'perfect' supermarket bananas are? How they're all the same size, colour, shape, no spots? If you've ever grown your own veggies you'll know that it's pretty rare you get anything looking so completely uniform!
Conventional bananas look so perfect because they go through a very particular, lengthy process - they're sprayed with artificial fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, they're picked under-ripe, kept in storage until they're ready to be ripened, sprayed with ethylene, put in a temperature controlled room to facilitate ripening, and then shipped to the supermarket. As you can imagine, this whole process can takes quite awhile so the bananas can be weeks old by the time you get them.
Any bananas that don't fit the bill (right size, shape, colour) are generally discarded (watch the documentary Just Eat It to see just how much is wasted). (I also read somewhere that up to a third of bananas grown in Australia are thrown away because they’re not beautiful enough for supermarket sale.)
Supermarkets also put immense pressure on farmers to sell their produce cheap – so it’s pretty rare they get a decent price for their hard labour.
Our bananas on the other hand are grown on Tony's trees at Wamuran (north of Woodford) with natural fertilisers and no chemicals. They're picked when they're ripe (or just under) and we pick them up on Thursdays. You get them on Friday or Saturday. No artificial ripening, no sprays, just real, fresh bananas. We pay Tony the fair price he asks for his beautiful bananas.
The downside of course is that our bananas don't always look as pretty, sometimes they even have a few spots (OMG!). They also don't last nearly as long, just a few days generally. If we have any left after that, we freeze them as frozen bananas make the best smoothies!
What do you think of our bananas vs supermarket bananas?