27 August 2012

Something fishy is going on: Shellfish coating being developed to slow banana ripening

"A solution finally may be at hand for the number one consumer gripe about bananas: their tendency to ripen, soften and rot into an unappetizing mush, seemingly in the blink of an eye." -- ScienceDaily

What is the solution? I first thought, oh great, they figured out how to raise bananas locally or streamline the delivery of bananas. But for the 6.4 billion pounds of bananas eaten in the United States annually, the solution is to be sprayed with a coating called "hydrogel," a substance made from shrimp and crab shells. This coating will apparently keep bananas "fresh" for up to 12 days and can "be used by consumers, in supermarkets or during shipment of bananas."

The scientist goes on to explain that bananas are actually alive and, "like people, bananas respire taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide...through their skin."

Like people! Hello, doesn't the scientist see the beauty in nature here? Bananas breathe, naturally. Why mess with Mother Nature?  Why do consumers have the need for perfectly yellow bananas that last 12 extra days? This new "product" will enable the system to thrive and bypass what is real and natural. And of course the many economic players involved from the growers and the transport companies, to the importers and supermarkets, will no doubt find this beneficial to their bottom line.

But what is missing here is the fact that a) I will say it again, it is not natural b) the product is derived from non-vegan sources, namely shellfish which implies yet another excuse for trawling the oceans or factory farming fish and c) what about shellfish allergies?

Why can't people eat their bananas before they ripen? Perhaps they don't know that they can slice them up and freeze them to use in smoothies or one ingredient ice cream. Perhaps the public is just so shielded from the real goings on of the food industry. Wake up everyone. Bananas are bananas. Please don't paint mine with shellfish gel. Thank you!

Lisa Dawn Angerame | Blog | Website | Facebook
Long Island, NY Lisa Dawn is an advanced certified Jivamukti yoga teacher, vegan food blogger, wife and mom. She is working hard to spread the vegan love through her cooking, teaching and blog. Lisa Dawn studies and teaches the yoga sutras. She divides her time between NYC and Northport, Long Island. Lisa Dawn is the co founder of NAVA NYC, a meditation and yoga company designed to bring yoga and meditation to corporate clients.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/22280677@N07