As any of my friends will tell you, I happen to love bananas. Not only are they delicious, but they are also full of potassium and make for a quick snack as I run between classes. As if they could not get any better, they will last for about a week in my dorm room. Basically, I thought that bananas were the best… until I heard about their environmental impact.
First of all, bananas are grown in monocultures, which means that only one type of crop is grown. While this may not appear to be a problem at first, the fact that there is no crop diversity where bananas are grown means that they are more likely to become infected with pests or diseases. Because of this, pesticides are often used to kill these diseases. This is not only compromises the nutritional quantity of the bananas, but pesticides can also contaminate water in the surrounding areas.
As it pesticides weren’t bad enough, bananas indirectly create a lot of waste. Bananas are not grown in the U.S., so once they are grown, they have to be flown here. This uses fuel and releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Once the bananas finally arrive here, they are packages to sell in grocery stores. This often means that they are labeled with stickers, plastic ties, or put into plastic bags. This uses a seemingly unnecessary amount of plastic, which is not great for the environment.
While I certainly am not going to stop eating one of my favorite foods, I will be more conscious next time I eat bananas. As a more environmentally conscious alternative, it is best to eat locally grown fruits that are not sold with excessive packaging. This not only removes waste from plastic, but also means that less CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere because the fruit does not have to be transported as far. This is an easy change that we can all make, and who knows, maybe I will learn to love locally grown apples as much as I love bananas.
Feature Image From: http://dreamatico.com/data_images/banana/banana-3.jpg