Organic versus conventional bananas: which should you buy?
This is a follow-up post to my post about organic vs. “conventional” produce. Why the separate post? Well, because I realized that the #1 most consumed piece of produce in my house, is our good old friend: the banana! Kysen will only eat bananas, that is his fruit of choice and really the only fruit he “consciously” eats (we pack in lots of others in his smoothies).
So, I realized after my last post that the handy, dandy little list of produce provided by the Environmental Working Group did not have bananas listed as being part of the Dirty Dozen (the twelve most pesticide-treated fruits and veggies) and it wasn’t on the 15 cleanest list either! So, it’s somewhere between Kale and Onions on the scale of pesticide-ness and thus why I decided I had to research further!
This is what I’ve decided: For me it IS worth it to buy organic bananas based on the amount of them my son eats.
It is worth it to sit down and think about the fresh produce your children eat and which are their favorites that they keep on coming back to. If Sally eats strawberries after every meal then it is probably best that you buy organic strawberries (and they are also #3 of the most pesticide-treated fruits)! If Sally hardly ever has a banana, then conventional bananas would be fine in Sally’s situation.
But say your just an average, a-few-bananas-a-week kinda household, then you need to think about such factors as: price of organic vs. conventional, pesticide exposure in bananas and the nutritional value of your banana being compromised by the chemical treatments.
PRICE & VALUE:
Organic bananas are more expensive. At our local Trader Joe’s conventional bananas are 19 cents a piece while the organic variety are 29 cents a piece. Ten cents more per banana isn’t that bad, but these days every little penny matters! Also, in my recent experiment of buying a bunch of organic bananas and a bunch of conventional bananas, I noticed that the organic bananas ripened and bruised much more easily than the conventional variety. However, en it came to taste, the organic bananas blew the conventional bananas out of the water! It was striking how much more banana-y the organic type were and it made me wonder if pesticides also have an adverse effect on the taste of our fruits and veggies, it would make sense.
PESTICIDE EXPOSURE IN BANANAS:
“The major difference between [organic and conventional bananas] is that conventional bananas are grown with synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides to protect the crops from mold, bugs, and disease. On the other side, organic farmers use natural fertilizers such as manure and seaweed, insect predators and barriers to prevent pests, and they weed by hand or mulch in order to prevent weeds.” Fitsugar.com
“You may be thinking that all those chemicals used to grow conventional bananas are no big deal because you peel the fruit. But the chemicals are not just on the outside of the banana — they leach into the soil that is used to grow the produce. So even if you peel your banana, it doesn’t prevent you from ingesting small amounts of those chemicals.” Fitsugar.com.
I was SO bummed to find out that the banana peel does not protect the meat of the fruit from pesticide exposure! That was what I used to assure myself when we would but the “conventional” type of bananas for Kysen all the time, but now I know better and with the amount of bananas my boy eats he is at greater risk for exposure to these harmful chemicals.
“If you’re concerned about the nutritional value of your food, there are ongoing studies exploring the connection between pesticides and nutrients in foods; so far it looks like organic is healthier.” Fitsugar.com.
One of the reasons I eat bananas (okay the only reason, I’ve never been a big fan) is because of their undeniable nutrition and health benefits! Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron and fiber make the banana one of the healthiest-for-you whole foods on the planet, so the fact that pesticide treatments may decrease the nutrients found in the fruit is another important reason to go for the organic version.
I hope this info helps you to deiced whether to buy organic or go conventional when shopping for bananas! Do you notice any differences in taste, texture or quality in organic bananas? Do you have a preference? What makes you buy organic vs. conventional produce?