Apparently you should cut off the ends of bananas before eating them

(59 Posts)
emkana Tue 05-Jul-05 08:42:53

...about 2 cm each end. Because of pesticides which get in at the tips.
So I just read on a German discussion board.
Is this madness? Or has anybody heard this as well?
It wasn't just one person saying this, it was lots. I've never heard this before!

dejags Tue 05-Jul-05 08:44:41

I always cut the ends of bananas off, not because of pesticides but because the ends are hard and horrible.

Tissy Tue 05-Jul-05 08:44:57

thank goodness I buy organic bananas!

QueenFlounce Tue 05-Jul-05 08:44:57

Emkana - Surely you could just wash them like you do with other fruits?

i was having a discussion about organic food the other day with my organic-mad friend. Apparently there are no real benefits in buying organic foods if you are going to peel them anyway. And bananas were included in that.

QueenFlounce Tue 05-Jul-05 08:45:52

Ooops - Posts crossed Tissy, I wasn't aiming that at you, it was just a discussion I had the other day with a RL person.

snafu Tue 05-Jul-05 08:48:01

wash bananas? shurely shome mishtake?

Tissy Tue 05-Jul-05 08:50:14

I don't just buy organic for the benefits to myself, though. The way they are farmed is far better for the environment IMO.

tatt Tue 05-Jul-05 08:52:04

"wash bananas?"

before or after you peel them

I suppose pesticide residues on the outside could get on your hands but this sounds wierd.

katierocket Tue 05-Jul-05 08:52:08

organic organic organic. particularly bananas. QF that is not correct, bananas absorb lots of pesticides, it's not just on the skin.

Tommy Tue 05-Jul-05 08:57:21

DS2 does this himself as he doesn't like the end bits anyway!

aloha Tue 05-Jul-05 09:05:00

Buy Fairtrade (ideally organic) bananas from the W Indies. Don't buy hideous US produced 'dollar bananas' - they are full of dangerous chemicals, produced by exploited workers who have their health put at risk by the chemicals and their working conditions (huge miscarriage rates amoung banana workers for the US companies for example), and they absolutely rape the environment.
Spend the extra few pennies to support real family businesses which are decent but struggling. It will mean the difference between children going hungry and children being fed and going to school - as well as the benefits for you in terms of fewer chemicals & tastier fruit. If you felt even vaguely moved by Live8, if you care about people, buy Fairtrade bananas!

WideWebWitch Tue 05-Jul-05 09:07:21

This doesn't surprise me. I only buy organic bananas and fair trade too if possible.

katierocket Tue 05-Jul-05 09:07:44

exactly aloha

I still think of Motherinferior's middle class angst in the supermarket - "do I buy Fairtrade or organic bananas"

while we're on the topic of Fairtrade, never ever buy coffee that isn't Fairtrade, it is utterly immoral.

aloha Tue 05-Jul-05 09:10:49

Given the choice, I buy Fairtrade, as they are practically organic anyway. I've seen the banana farms they come from - they are old-fashioned, traditional family businesses with very low use of chemicals etc. They can't afford to be anything else!

cardy Tue 05-Jul-05 09:26:41

I read an article in the Times magazine a few weeks ago about the benefits of organic. The article suggested the 'must buy' organic foods in terms of levels of chemicals etc. these included root vegatables, however bananas were an 'only if you can afford it'. In the countries that they are usually imported from very few chemicals are used and if they are the skin absorbs anything and very little if any harmful chemicals get into the edible part of the banana.

I try to buy as much organic food as possible but sometimes the costs make it prohibitable, so I buy what I think the most necessary.

QueenFlounce Tue 05-Jul-05 09:28:34

KR - Was only going by a review in a national newspaper that showed where we are being fleeced by the 'organic' market and where the real benefits in buying organic are. The whole article was fantastic, I wish I could remember where I saw it now!

I suppose I'm immoral then. I only buy fair trade coffee when it's on special offer in the Coop! It's very easy to jump on the bandwagon and call people "immoral", but isn't about knowledge??? The average Joe on the street doesn't really know why fair trade is so important..... and therefore wouldn't think it immoral not to buy that. Its a bit of a strong word IMHO.

QueenFlounce Tue 05-Jul-05 09:29:06

Ah Cardy, posts crossed!! Thats the one!!

katierocket Tue 05-Jul-05 09:31:13

I mean it's immoral once you realise how non fairtrade coffee is produced and its effect on the coffee growers.

Janh Tue 05-Jul-05 09:43:55

Ethical Consumer report about bananas - it's from 1999 originally so some of the content is probably out of date but it says most banana production relied heavily on pesticides, with inadequate training of workers, lots of aerial spraying and some use of banned products.

It says Windward Island bananas are the safest (and that Geest are from there).

Sainsburys piece about Fairtrade and Organic - both from Windward Islands again.

I have definitely seen a report which said that bananas are one of the products it's worth paying the extra for (NB Sainsburys' come in bags labelled 750g, but check them out because some weigh much more)

cardy Tue 05-Jul-05 09:47:47

I wish I has kept the article, because I now wander around the supermarket trying to remember what is worth buying organic and what isn't (don't have an unlimited budget I am afriad). I know organic milk is an impoortant one.

Organic/fairtrade. I guess it is about educating people. People don't always seek out information and only when things are made 'obvious' do they change their ways.

tortoiseshell Tue 05-Jul-05 10:21:37

We started getting an organic veg box and an organic fruit box, and we're saving so much money by not going to the supermarket all the time - and eating much more healthily, much more veg based stuff.

moondog Tue 05-Jul-05 10:40:34

Better still, avoid the supermarket as much as possible. It is a complete myth that it is more convenient. The stress of the parking (and getting riled by the oafs hogging the bays for the disabled and mothers&babies),the garish lighting,the queueing,the slack jawed masses poking and prodding the frozen reconstituted sawdust that masquerades as food,the blaring announcements and so on, conspire to make me feel very depressed.

We do a 'real' shop once or twice a week,going to the few independent shops remaining in my town,talking to people,discussing our purchases and so on. Granted it is time consuming,but not excessively so and I feel my children get a lot out of the experience.

roosmum Tue 05-Jul-05 10:47:41

moondog - what sort of shops exactly (do you eat meat?), & isn't it a hassle to get all the stuff around town/home?
have recently started buying organic, but still do the supermarket run. am consistenly to see the junk people fill their trollies with...def almost enough to make me seek out local small food shops like you do, but not sure how realistic a poss this wd be...?

starlover Tue 05-Jul-05 10:51:05

tortoiseshell who do you use for your organic fruit/veg box?
am thinking of trying abel and cole...

i can't believe you're supposed to waste 4cm of banana!!!! i have been eating bananas my whole life (near enough) and have never cut the bloody end off.... and i'm not dead yet!

jessicaandbumpsmummy Tue 05-Jul-05 10:52:13

i cut the bottom end off because its usually got a black nasty bit in it, but other than that no!

potty1 Tue 05-Jul-05 10:53:24

It's certainly got me thinking - I eat the ends of my bananas and the kids' too as they don't like them!

starlover Tue 05-Jul-05 10:53:38

if there is that black thing in i usually squidge it out too... but aside from that...eat the whole thing!

roosmum Tue 05-Jul-05 10:59:33

SL - re-the black bit, i heard that you can get spiders in that part(???! i'm v. gullibe me, so that cd well be nonsense ...but i didn't much like the thought, so not eating the black bit here )

starlover Tue 05-Jul-05 11:02:17

i have heard of spiders being found in bunches of bananas!

still... if you chew it well i'm sure they'll be dead by the time you swallow! lol

roosmum Tue 05-Jul-05 11:12:23

banana w. added minced spiders???
<<shudders>>

IlanaK Tue 05-Jul-05 11:13:12

moondog - I totally agree with you about supermarkets. I have been reading recently: "Shopped" by Joanna Blytham, "not on the label" by Felicity Lawrence; "Meat" by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River Cottage guy); and "the Food our Children Eat" also by Joanna Blytham. I have totally changed the way I shop now. I do buy organic sometimes, but not always. It is about buying direct from the farmer where possible. I live in central london, but have a great farmers market once a week. We get our fresh produce there as well as meat from the people who farm it. SOme is organic and some is free range. I buy my fish frmo a fishmonger. I buy my toiletries from my local independant chemist (NOT boots) and support my local green grocer who also sells lots of lovely health foody bits. I still do a large supermarket shop once every 1.5 weeks, but it is from Ocado and for heavy stuff only - soft drinks, water, etc. Anything I can buy locally I do. The books make shockng reading. Its not just about pesticides and health, but also how supermarkets treat their suppliers, how they have killed off local communities, and how they have taken away our freedom of choice. Tesco is a dirty word in our household now! And my son has benefited enormously (besides health of course). He shops with me and sees whole fish in the fishmonger and listens to the discussions about how to cook it etc. He watches in the butcher as they take down the hung carcasses and cut off what we need. And he sees that carrots actually grow in the ground and have lots of green leaves on the end when pulled up (how they come in our market) rather than in plastic bags from the supermarket.

Sorry to hyjack this thread, but it is a real area of interest for me right now!

starlover Tue 05-Jul-05 11:15:52

i wish there were proper shops where i live.

i am in a pretty big town, there is one butcher which isn't much help as i am veggie! afaik we have no greengrocers or anything

roosmum Tue 05-Jul-05 11:16:07

ilana, that sounds great, i shd prob get myself some of that reading material...well done you.

there was a debate on organic/non organic on the radio a few weeks ago. the non organic guy said there are more carcinogens in one cup of coffee than in one years worth of eating non organic food (this doesnt include all the other chemicals obviously).

my microbiology lecturer at uni (proper research scientist type) says he never buys organic because he cant understand why people would rather ingest chemicals made by plants to kill off nasties which have not been thoroughly tested in a lab rather than manmade chemicals which have been thoroughly tested and shown to be safe. he also refuses to buy free range chickens or eggs because he says they are riddled with salmonella

totally believe in the free trade stuff tho

starlover Tue 05-Jul-05 11:33:22

lots of carn chickens have salmonella too. That's why we cook it! anything that is cooked properly isn't a problem....

do you know what conditions are like for barn hens? they're the reason i became vegetarian

bobbybob Tue 05-Jul-05 11:34:24

We don't eat bananas because my son is allergic to latex and eating a banana could kill him because of a cross reaction. I think the Germans who cut the ends off should get out more.

Marina Tue 05-Jul-05 11:45:43

Your microbiology lecturer is misinformed gg. British hens, organically fed, free-range or otherwise, are pretty much salmonella free. And, as starlover says, all you have to do is cook them properly. Bit of a no-brainer really.
His PhD funded by an agrochemical business, by any chance?
We get organic bananas at Waitrose because they come from small producers on the good old Windward Islands. Support your former colonies and eat delicious little curly bananas, say no to crappy dollar bananas, as others have said.

geekgrrl Tue 05-Jul-05 11:54:30

hear, hear Marina. Also, salmonella is never inside the egg but on the outside of the shell. Eggs, free-range or otherwise, are washed before going on the shelf.
Yes, there is more salmonella on the outside of freerange chicken carcasses because they don't get the chemical bath that battery broilers get - but really - considering salmonella is killed off by cooking and raw poultry doesn't appeal, I know what I prefer.
Being a hen-keeper I never, ever buy or eat non-free-range poultry.

moondog Tue 05-Jul-05 11:56:32

Lol bobbybob (at the German comment, not your son's allergy obviously)

Roosmum, I'm not working at the moment and my dh is abroad,so do have more time in the day (one great argument in favour of supermarkets used by many is I know that they are open after hours.)

I buy meat and fish and bread and stuff from the healthfood shop (such a madly 70s epithet!)in town. Fruit &Veg guy with a van comes to the house once a week,as does a fishmonger. Choice is limited but I do buy from them for the moral issue of putting my money back into the community.

You wouldn't believe how different meat frrm a butcher tastes,it's incredible.

I buy my wine (big indulgence from a place about 20 km away-but about 24 bottles at a time. I don't want to drink Blossom Hill and Jacobs Creek-would rather have a glass of water.

I'm in north Wales about a 1/3 of the time (and in Turkey for the other 2/3 where it is a joy to buy stuff.)Stop wherever and whenever to buy eggs,potatoes,stuff from pick your own places,support the fledgling farmers' market in the carpark of Safeways (how grimly ironic is that-in a rural area to boot??????)once a month.

Yes,those books you mention Ilana bring it home in so many ways. Noone ultimately benefits from huge supermarket style shopping.

What amuses me is that we talk of choice and consumer powere,yet the stranglehold that Tesco have over us will ultimately reduce our choice. We will all end up wearing their clothes,eating their food,drinking their wine (note how the selection shrinks every year),using their shampoo.

Having lived in Russia for a while and the idea of the choiceless Eastern bloc, I realise that capitalism leads to the same destination.


(Bit heavy for a Tuesday morning???? Note to self;lighten up!)

i dont buy or eat chicken anyway so salmonella isnt something i am particularly worried about, just thought id put his argument across

Pomi Tue 05-Jul-05 14:18:54

I believe that waisting food is sin.
Organic is someting i want to buy but cant afford really. I am happy to read that some people avoid shopping from supermarket. Do you know the fruit and veg from fruit market is organic? Maybe i too make some changes in my shopping.

lunachic Tue 05-Jul-05 14:33:22

pomi are you in uk ? morrisons (who have taken over safeways ) have reasonably priced organic veg-after reading this thread i am so glad i buy organic bananas-love organic baking spuds too i can let my kids eat the crispy skins without worrying whats on them

IlanaK Tue 05-Jul-05 16:09:19

Not to complicate the issues, but buying organic fruit and veg from the supermarket may address health issues, but it does not address the issues of how supermarkets treat their suppliers - its the same for the organic farmers. So, if you are interested in the wider issues, going supermarket organic does not work.

Also, its worth asking at your local farmers market about the fruit and veg. To get registered organic is so stringent that many farmers don't do it. HOwever, you may find by speaking to them that although they are not organic, they do not use pesticides or chemicals. Their fruit and veg may be just as nice, but less expensive.

With meat, if you want to go organic or free range, learn about the different cuts and how to cook them. Supermarkets have brain washed us into thinking that we need to only buy prime cuts of meat. From my pork farmer (all free range), I buy bacon off cuts instead of actual bacon slices. Much cheaper and just as yummy. From the organic beef farmer, I get the cheapest cuts he has each week for stewing. I use a slow cooker, some organic veg, the chicken stock I make from the chicken carcass after we have eaten it, and the stew tastes absolutely amazing. I highly recommend learning new ways to cook!

QueenOfQuotes Tue 05-Jul-05 16:13:55

I bought my fruit and veg from the market a few weeks ago - yes it was an awful lot cheaper, but I had to throw half of it out by half way through the week as it had gone off - the apples (which at first glance looked lovely) were ALL inedible.......afraid I stick to the supermarket again now.

Janh Tue 05-Jul-05 16:15:15

Was that ordinary market or farmer's market though, QoQ? I don't like ordinary market either because I've had some dodgy stuff but farmer's market shouldn't do that.

Toothache Tue 05-Jul-05 16:15:23

QoQ - Me too.

I used to get a bag of organic veg straight from the farm. It was fine in the summer, but the Winter was TERRIBLE and was often left with no edible Veg!

QueenOfQuotes Tue 05-Jul-05 16:17:39

farmers market PMSL - you ARE joking - I don't even know where our closest Farmers market is



Actually - I think there's one held in a town about 20 minutes drive away (I don't drive) on a thursday once a month.

Feffi Tue 05-Jul-05 16:24:34

here is an interesting article about bananas

lunachic Tue 05-Jul-05 16:33:38

i agree totally ilanak but im not always pleased with the quality of my locally grown organic veg shop and its v expensive feel bad that i am enjoying org veg shipped in from africa and other far flung places
am trying to shop more locally and i am lucky as i live in a town with an excellent market (so do you janh !) i can buy a lot of stuff that doesnt have the organic stamp but for all intents is organic
theres a family of butchers on our market who (in their own words) grow it ,feed it,kill it but its nice to know that the cow im eating has only seen a field near here and not much else they are organic too but cannot afford the rigmarole of getting the stamp
so its always worth asking

lunachic Tue 05-Jul-05 16:35:12

also read once that their is a super disease of bananas which threatens to wipe them out dont know how true this is

Janh Tue 05-Jul-05 16:46:02

Where do you live, lunachic? Have you been to our market? I know it's very popular but the few times I tried it (years ago) I always felt the produce I got wasn't as good as what was on display; and these days I'm too disorganised and usually end up shopping at 5pm or later.

lunachic Tue 05-Jul-05 16:57:43

i live near hebden bridge/todmorden(has the oldest indoor market in country apparently)
jan i know from lurkin you live in clitheroe-must say ive only been to market as a tourist but ive had that problem too here even with the butcher showing me the meat and saying is that ok and laying the best stuff on top- id have still said yes its ok if id seen all of it but it seems sneaky to hide it
my dp is forever trying to get me to do all shopping on the market cause its cheaper he wont be told it isnt and sometimes a supermarket is better value-was so relieved when our local safeways became morrisons -decent food good choice reasonable prices (and no i dont work for them) and they hang the bananas !!

ps love the sausage shop ion clitheroe do you shop there maybe you could post me some cumberland jan-lol- only kidding

QueenOfQuotes Tue 05-Jul-05 17:20:13

you must be lucky - we've got a Tesco, Saisbury and Morrisons in our town - and Morrisons meat is by FAR the worst of the lot!

IlanaK Tue 05-Jul-05 18:19:35

Yes, just to clarify that I meant a farmer's market, not a regular market. Our local normal market is not somewhere I shop either. The fruit and veg is very cheap, but only lasts about a day. The stall holders are not farmers.

The farmer's market I go to, by definition, can only sell products that they grow or make themselves.

I know I am lucky where I live to have so much choice. But this is the whole point. Supermarkets have taken over to the point that most people can no longer shop the way I do as all small butchers, bakers (I no longer buy my bread at supermarkets either, but that's a whole other kettle of fish!), green grocers, etc are all out of business. The giant super stores have taken over.

lunachic Tue 05-Jul-05 18:22:53

morrisons organic meat is ok as is tescos sainsburys org meat is overpriced imo but they have good selection of organic fruit and veg
hey jan h were practically neighbours ! maybe we could meat up sometime (although i understand if you dont ever want to)

lunachic Tue 05-Jul-05 18:23:48

meat up lol (near the sausage shop??) !!

tortoiseshell Tue 05-Jul-05 20:42:19

starlover, we use riverford who we've had no complaints with at all. We get a large veg box every fortnight, and a fruit box once a week. The veg has had no problems in lasting and we polish off the fruit really quickly. But I'd rather have fruit and veg that isn't covered in horrid things to keep it longer. And it really is delicious! And we are saving money and eating more healthily (not just organic, but better balanced meals!)

starlover Wed 06-Jul-05 16:55:45

ooh i might try them then! they're online aren't they?

tortoiseshell Thu 07-Jul-05 16:32:19

yes, here

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