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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: 1vertical on January 29, 2011, 05:48:06 PM

Title: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: 1vertical on January 29, 2011, 05:48:06 PM
Since we no longer can get Chiquita Bananas at the store....grrrrr....
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17615143/ns/business-us_business/ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17615143/ns/business-us_business/) Edit: that was dated 2007
seems the other banana lords that have the blessing of the US Government
(i.e. No capitulation to terrorists) are selling stuff that is WAY too unripe
(Did you hear that D*le? How bout you Del M*nte??)
and the end result is a way lower quality of banana at the consumer end....
at least here in BFE Whyoming. We are fresh fruit challenged in the winter
months and this just seems to add insult to injury.
The stuff we get develops a weird off color brownish yellow and the fruit is
not sweet and nice...kind of bland and greenish tasting....rant over...
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: euge on January 29, 2011, 07:17:42 PM
It's not just bananas. Most produce available looks great but tastes bland or worse. So bad I quit easting broccoli. But our bananas are pretty good. Maybe it's because we are closer to the source.

Yours probably have gotten too cold during shipping. That's the Achilles heel for bananas.
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: 1vertical on January 29, 2011, 09:59:24 PM
Well perhaps they got too cold Euge, but I see the case lots being opened and
put upon the shelves for sale...I have never seen such Green Green Green bananas.
They were just harvested way too early and could not possibly ripen correctly.
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: BrewingRover on January 29, 2011, 11:51:06 PM
Bananas as we know them are doomed, according to an article I read recently:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/10/110110fa_fact_peed
You have to subscribe to read the whole thing, but check your library, as it's a pretty interesting article. It talks about how Dole and Chiquita forced one variety on the American market and how a fungus is killing it in Asia and Australia.
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: richardt on January 30, 2011, 12:28:00 AM
You can read that article in a 2005 issue of Popular Science or in Banana:  The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World.
They're good reads if you like and care about Cavendish bananas.

Personally, Bananas make me puke.  The only way I can eat them is with milk and sugar.
However, I love plantain chips.
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: punatic on January 30, 2011, 09:36:19 AM
OK, I cannot resist bragging a bit... I grow so many bananas I have a hard time giving them all away before they go bad.  Bland is not a word that is ever used around my bananas.  Yum! is heard quite often though.
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: oscarvan on January 31, 2011, 03:17:14 AM
Banana beer?
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: jaybeerman on February 01, 2011, 01:00:27 AM
OK, I cannot resist bragging a bit... I grow so many bananas I have a hard time giving them all away before they go bad.  Bland is not a word that is ever used around my bananas.  Yum! is heard quite often though.

I'll take a few dozen if you're willing to absorb the overnight shipping costs  ;D  Enough for one a day sent in weekly packages would be awesome, thanks!

<edit> just one a day because my wife likes those gawd aweful green things
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: 1vertical on February 03, 2011, 06:17:58 AM
OK, I cannot resist bragging a bit... I grow so many bananas I have a hard time giving them all away before they go bad.  Bland is not a word that is ever used around my bananas.  Yum! is heard quite often though.

I'll take a few dozen if you're willing to absorb the overnight shipping costs  ;D  Enough for one a day sent in weekly packages would be awesome, thanks!

<edit> just one a day because my wife likes those gawd aweful green things
Hmmmm....punatic up for shipping good Bananas ?
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: dbeechum on February 03, 2011, 08:35:23 AM
I'm going to go with Euge - most grocery store produce these days tastes like wet gloppy Styrofoam.

Now this thread has me looking at what sort of banana tree I could plant in Pasadena. :).
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: rbclay on February 03, 2011, 02:15:37 PM
In addition to the issues in Asia and Australia (not regions where we get our bananas in the US), the Central and South American regions have had terrible growing conditions several months ago. It usually takes up to 2-3 months for those effects to affect our market. Too green bananas would indicate that they wanted to at least pick and send something to market, even if they aren't ready. But, it is also a sign that perhaps they did not use their usual chemicals to speed up the ripening process.
Organic bananas from Mexico usually show up a little green, but that is a good thing. No chemicals.

Eat local. Bananas should be a luxury in the US, but they are available for $.39/pound at convenience stores in Minnesota?!? Something is wrong with that. Thanks, but no thanks Dole, et al....

Eat apples. Of course, last years US crop was terrible in most places. Oh well. At least the hops were good!!
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: morticaixavier on February 03, 2011, 04:02:13 PM
I'm going to go with Euge - most grocery store produce these days tastes like wet gloppy Styrofoam.

Now this thread has me looking at what sort of banana tree I could plant in Pasadena. :).

do you get frost often there in pasadena? is no then there are alot of dwarf varieties that you could plant in the ground. There is at least one frost hardy variety that I have seen growing with fruit here in the SF bay area. and you can plan on e in a BIG pot which you would have to bring in if there is concern about frost but will produce anyway if yo ugive it enough food.

for other produce you should find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in your area. every week you could get a big box of wonderful farm fresh produce possibly even deleviered to your door. You don't get to choose what's in it most of the time but that is part of the fun! each week you get a suprise package of wonderful produce that you get to figure out what to do with. I get a box from a farm only about 15 miles from my home and for 32 bucks a week we get more stuff that we can usually manage to go through. Go local!
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: tonyp on February 03, 2011, 04:13:14 PM
If you are lucky enough to have one in your area check out Whole Foods, its a tad bit more expensive than most national chain superstores but we've always found it to have much higher quality produce, plus its all certified organic, fair trade and local as possible. I don't eat bananas so I can't vouch for them but I can't live without their Costa Rican coffee beans!

Whole Foods (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/)
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: Slowbrew on February 03, 2011, 04:55:19 PM
My understanding of the bananas we in the US are used to is they cannot even reproduce naturally.  They are all cloned and then planted so they are all literally the same plant.  This has been done to many plant species, by we humans, to make them store longer, travel better and appear prettier than most heirloom versions.  Of course, to bring out these traits the researchers needed to make trade offs and taste was the main one.

We have created a Catch 22 for ourselves.  We changed the plants so they make more food.  We found out how to use fertilizers made from oil.  Now we can feed more people so people make more people.  We already had too many people so now we have more "too many" people.  Now we need to make the plants produce that much more food.  Rinse-Repeat.

We can only push the envelope so far until we hit a wall.  I don't know where that wall is but it will not be pretty when we get there.  I read a book recently (sorry, I don't have the name with me) where an alien invasion came in the gift of perfect health for everyone.  Over population caused wars and starvation on Earth while the aliens sat back and watched us kill each other.  Sadly, some parts of the world will get to the war and starvation part without any aliens required.

Long comment to say +1 on eat local.

Paul
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: punatic on February 03, 2011, 07:38:17 PM
A video in 4 parts about growing bananas, by University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources..  It was filmed here where I live, on a client's banana farm.  I shop at the the grocery store and the farmers' market shown at the end of part 4. (but I grow my own bananas)

Growing Bananas (http://www.youtube.com/user/scotnelson#p/u/3/uBlu8A68_Pc)
Title: Re: Anyone else notice the Decline in quality of Bananas being purveyed?
Post by: euge on February 03, 2011, 07:42:01 PM
My Laotian neighbor grows bananas in the most sheltered part of their property. They've bounced back from hard freezes. Not Cavendish variety obviously, but some Asian type. I think they grow them for the leaves more than the fruit.