Monday, April 26, 2010

What a waste

Last week I was at the Public Health Association of Australia annual conference in Canberra. I want to tell you something interesting I found out.

Amy White, a postgraduate teaching fellow at Bond University in Queensland told us that around 10-30% of all bananas grown are simply discarded, basically at a loss to the farmer. The sad part is that four out of five discarded bananas are perfectly edible and ideal for consumption. So why do they get thrown?

In this game you need to be bent; straight ones never get to market. Even slightly bent ones won’t make it; you need to be properly bent, but not too bent that you horseshoe. No __double pups__, those bananas that are conjoined, the Siamese banana. No minor blemishes on the skin, little birth marks that don’t affect the flesh. No single or double bananas either. Bananas have to go to market in hands of 3-9 bananas. Yet how often do you, or others, grab just one or two bananas at the shop?

When next you question the cost of fresh produce just think of the amount that gets wasted only because major supermarket chains lay down the law on what is the “perfect” fruit or vegetable. Like humans, bananas come in different shapes and skins; it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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