Friday, January 15, 2010

Have we gone bananas over bananas?

It saddened me to read in the Sydney Herald last week, that our obsession with perfection is resulting in the destruction of one third of Queensland's banana crop, because the fruit is deemed too straight, too small or not yellow enough.It also stated that each year 100,000 tonnes of bananas considered sub-standard are chopped up and spread over banana plantations as fertiliser. The major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, which buy 70 per cent of Australian bananas, reject fruit that is the wrong size, an imperfect shape or discoloured. And it is also reported that the Australian Banana Growers' Council said bananas must meet very particular length, girth and colour specifications before Woolworths and Coles take them. But shoppers are also to blame, leaving inferior bananas on the shelves in favour of the better looking ones. Popular consumer's culture present bananas as being yellow with a distinctive curved shape, must be blemish free and picture perfect in shape and size, in which is impossible to achieve without this horrendous wastage. Like shopping for all other fruits, customers, given the choice between fruit that is bruised and fruit that looks pristine, will choose the pristine fruit. But we've got to shift the paradigm in how we look at buying fruits in the supermarket, unlike most fruits, bananas get sweeter and softer after being harvested from the tree. It is better to buy them when they are still firm, with a green tinge at the stem , they are less prone to bruising at this point. They can be further ripen home by wrapping loosely in newspaper and keeping in a airy place at room temperature.Contrary to popular myth, bananas don't go off if refrigerated, chilly does turn the skin black but it halts the ripening process. Do not throw them away even the skin has turned black. Peel the blacken skin away, if the flesh is still white and slightly soft, you'll still have a perfect banana. Here is a simple recipe if you have some forgotten and over riped bananas in your fruit basket at home.
Kuih Kodok Recipe:


1 1/4 cup plain flour.
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 ripe bananas
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups oil
Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork in a mixing bowl. Mix the salt and baking powder into the flour and sieve.Stir in the flour into the mashed bananas and mix well to form a soft batter. Heat oil until hot. Use a dessert spoon to drop tennis ball size batter into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain fritters on paper towels and serve hot with a dollop of ice cream.


  1. mango also get thrown away wat

  2. Hi BY,
    Ya loh, our obsession with a picture perfect fruit is causing so much wastage. The supermarkets know how to meet their customers demand and their willingness to pay a higher price for it.

  3. Hi Yen,
    Sharlynn likes the banana or the kuih kadok?