© Copyright 2014 CE.
by Lin Stone
Bananas are the most popular fruit sold in the United States. They are available in supermarkets throughout the year. They are now grown in tropical areas around the world. Bananas grow upside down in clusters. They are really herbs and do not grow on trees. Bananas are in fact, close relatives of the orchid and lily family.
History tells us that Malaysia was one of the ancient cradles of a banana civilization. There is ample evidence of modern human habitation in Malaysia that dates back some 40,000 years. The country lies east of India and almost directly south from Cambodia nestled between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
Here the ocean is extremely shallow and holds its summer warmth better. The shores of the Malaysia peninsula almost uniformly rise gently away from the ocean. Scientists believe that some of the rain forests in this area are 130 million years old.
The first edible bananas we know of can be traced back to this Indo-Malaysian region. The first time they were officially introduced in European markets was in the 10th Century CE.. The fore-runners of the modern banana cultivars are thought to be the diploid bananas (that is to say, bananas endowed with 2 pairs of chromosomes) M. acuminata and M. balbisiana. Both species are seeded and inedible varieties. Intra-species and finally inter-species crosses resulting in infertile seedless cultivars were selected by the local inhabitants and cultivated providing us with the hybrids that we have today. (reported by Robinson, 1996)
Back in the early 1900s pessimistic people would say things backwards, like -- "You don't have any bananas, do you?"
Fruit vendors in New York at that time were often legal immigrants still struggling with the English language, the most dificult language of all. How do you answer a double-barreled question like that, they wondered. "If I do have bananas for sale should I answer yes, or should I answer no?"
It was a real puzzle for them. To clear the matter up, the vendors responded with both positive and negative affirmations ... "YES! We have no bananas!"
Someone wrote a song about the cultural misunderstanding and it became quite popular.
Bananas are one of the first solid foods that babies enjoy. They contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose. Is it any wonder very few infants are allergic to bananas?
Bananas make a perfect baby food because they are very easily digested. Bananas remain a perennial favorite among children because of their great taste. Besides that bananas keep their high-energy bodies at peak performance. Children don't grow out of their liking for bananas. Grownups continue to love bananas right on into their retirement years.
Kids love to cut bananas up over their cereal.
In Malaysia, the banana crop is the second most widely cultivated fruit, covering about 26,000 ha with a total production of 530,000 metric tonnes. Nearly 50% of the banana growing land is cultivated with Pisang Berangan and the Cavendish type, and the remaining popular cultivars are Pisang Mas, Pisang Rastali, Pisang Raja, Pisang Awak, Pisang Abu, Pisang Nangka and Pisang Tanduk.
The worst thing about bananas is that so few people want to share what they raise. It is a staple crop and it fills the tummy up right nicely. Bananas are cultivated for local consumption by smallholders, and only about 12% of the total Malaysian production is exported, mainly to Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
It is estimated that every year twenty eight million tons are now consumed by everyone from babies to nursing home residents. This sweet, soft and wonderful fruit is one of the first solid foods that babies enjoy. They contain three natural sugars "“ sucrose, fructose and glucose. Is it any wonder that only a handful of infants are allergic to bananas Bananas make a perfect baby food because they are very easily digested. Bananas remain a perennial favorite among growing children because of their great taste. Besides that, bananas keep their high-energy bodies operating at peak performance. Nor do children outgrow their affinity for bananas. After attaining maturity, they continue to love bananas and that affection endures right on into their retirement years.
Compared to apples, bananas contain 4x protein, 2x carbohydrates, 3x the phosphorus, and 5x Vitamin A and Iron. It is also naturally high in Potassium. The versatile banana can be eaten simply by removing the peel. Everyone knows how to do that now, but when bananas were first served in the posh hotels of America written directions were distributed with delivery of the fruit. It was also necessary to warn everyone to be careful where they disposed of the outer peel.
Equal parts of warm olive oil and mashed bananas make an excellent moisturizing face mask for dry, weathered skin. Apply the mixture to a clean face and wash off after fifteen minutes. Use a little bit of heated honey with a mashed banana for moisturizing all skin types. Apply the mixture to your clean face and wash off after fifteen minutes.
Some other uses include,
Banana clothing (Philippines)
Banana bandage (Pacific Islands)
Other by-products: Banana fibre as a natural sorbent
Banana fibre as a base material for bioremediation and recycling
Banana fibre as a natural water purifier
Banana fibre as a base material for the paper and pulp industry
Banana fibre in the mushroom industry
Banana fibre in handicrafts and textiles
Popular table companions to the banana are cherries, strawberries and pineapples.
About the author: Lin Stone takes keen delight in producing articles that parents can read to their bright children. "If children tried to read this by themselves, this would be over their heads. But when the parent reads one of these subjects it opens up a dialogue between parent and child that can lead to better family togetherness."
Parents can Click HERE to see a larger index of the writings of this author.
Another author has written an excellent article on this subject. Read it here!