Banana Faith

Bananas might qualify as the perfect fruit. They come prepackaged in yellow wrappers. The firm pulp contains delicious nutrients, including B2, B6, C, magnesium and potassium. Just peel, eat, enjoy, and dispose of the convenient, biodegradable container.

The banana plant thrives in tropical or subtropical regions. Bananas grow on large plants ten to twenty-five feet high. Clusters hold up to 150 bananas and smaller bunches called “hands” contain ten to twenty-five bananas.

Bananas typically grow on large plantations operated by multinational corporations. The yellow fruit has shaped the history of Central America. Corporations with household names have deposed rulers, instigated revolts, and opposed land reform. The subject remains a political hot banana in Latin America.

Most banana imports in the United States come from Central and South America along with the Caribbean. Workers cut green bananas with machetes, and trucks transport them to processing centers. Once the bananas dry, workers pack them into boxes holding forty pounds of fruit.

The laden boxes travel to distribution centers for shipment to the United States. Transfer trucks carry the green fruit across the nation. Then grocers ship the boxes to individual stores.

The economics of bananas fascinate me. I recently bought a bunch of bananas from Ecuador. The fruit was grown, picked, processed, shipped, distributed, redistributed, and sold. Everyone handling the product made a profit along the way; but I bought the bananas for FIFTY CENTS PER POUND! Is this a great country or what?!?

One can do all sorts of things with a dollar’s worth of bananas. There’s banana pudding, banana cake, banana splits, banana milkshakes, banana fritters, banana bread, banana muffins, banana tarts, Bananas Foster, banana fingers, banana pancakes, and banana sandwiches.

Despite the banana’s long list of beneficial virtues, I must confess that I am not a big fan of the yellow, slipper-shaped fruit. I find the pulp tasteless and the texture mushy. I DO like banana bread in case anyone has a loaf to share.

It’s funny how we can become knowledgeable about a product and admire its properties without personally enjoying the benefits. I suppose it’s a lot like professing the Christian faith without being involved in a local church.

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