NUTRITIONAL & FUN FACTS ABOUT Bananas:
I cannot even being to tell you the number of ways I use bananas in my cooking...I bake with them, snack on them, use them to make ice cream, in smoothies and on and on the list goes. They are sweet, delicious, stomach-soothing, nutrition packed gems of the natural world. Originally from Southeast Asia, bananas were carried by explorers to the Caribbean.
We love bananas so much for their sweet, creamy flavor and smooth texture. Not to mention they are low in sodium, high in potassium, which helps with vascular dilation and blood pressure. It also helps children reduce the risk of asthma, if consumed in the first two years of life, it has shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing lucemia. It has a high source of Vitamin C, so they can help combat the formation of free radicals which cause cancer. Bananas are most important for a healthy source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and B6, making it beneficial for cardiovascular issues, cancer prevention, strokes and protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone and reduction of kidney stones. Additionally, bananas can help improve memory, boost mood and help prevent diarrhea. They are the 4th most important crop worldwide for developing countries because they provide an important source of starch.
Did You Know? Fun facts about bananas:
- According to the USDA, bananas are and have been the most popular fruit consumed in the US
- Researchers have found that the smell of bananas can actually help suppress your appetite and thus lead to weight loss! (click here for source)
- Over 1,000 varieties of bananas exist in this world, the most common being the cavendish banana
- The word banana comes from the Arabic word 'banan' meaning finger
- The trunk of a banana plant is not made of wood, but tightly wrapped overlapping leaves
DIFFICULTIES FACING bananas:
We dependent on bananas for what they provide to us taste and comfort wise, but in addition, in some communities in Africa, up to 90% of their daily caloric intake comes from banana consumption. Nearly 9/10ths of the world's bananas are eaten in poor countries, where at least 400 million people rely on them for 15-27% of their daily calories. There are many different species of bananas, but the ones we know and love today are threatened by land degradation, loss of top soil, land slides (depending on the country), drying of springs, and a disease called Tropical Race 4. The threat of Tropical Race 4 spreading is quite serious because it only takes a small amount of affected dirt to spread in vast and catastrophic ways. It is a soil -borne fungus that has ravaged crops in Asia and made the jump to Mozambique and Jordan. If this happens, it is a direct threat to food security for many people, as it is also a major hit to the livelihoods and income generation of those working on banana plantations as well as any worker involved in the production, collection, shipping and distribution of bananas. This has the potential to affect millions of lives.
Climate change is bringing higher temperatures to tropical growing regions where bananas (and coffee) are grown...bananas can eventually be moved to other areas when the temperatures get too high, but the rise in temperature also means increased pests, higher susceptibility for disease. If crops are producing less fruit, farmers will abandon them for more profitable and sustainable alternatives.
GIVE WHERE YOU TAKE GIVING:
What is being done about this?
The greatest opportunities to aid in the sustainability of bananas surrounds sustainable management of natural resources, mitigation of climate change and uncontrolled environmental impact. It is hugely important that critical information is shared among farmers as well as people working at various levels along the supply chain as a tool for development.
What are we doing?
We are donating a part of profits from all of our products to organizations dedicated to protecting all of our endangered food sources.
*MORE TO COME ON SPECIFIC PROJECTS FOR SUSTAINABILITY OF BANANAS*