Should I buy organic bananas?

 

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.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE:

“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?

  • JenMom

    Nice write up – I think it’s essential to buy all organic produce whenever possible especially if you’re feeding them to children.  It does become a little tough on the spending budget but with all the chemicals being used these days it’s better safe than sorry.

    Luckily we have a TJ’s in our neighborhood so we don’t have to go to whole foods where everything is so overpriced.

  • SheilaSellsSeashells

    Great post i love bananas but the cost of buying organic has always keep me eating the polluted ones :)

  • CHEERY cherry <3

    i don’t think i can do organic for apples and bananas.  the thing that makes me buy mostly nonorganic is the price of organic products and produce.  but lyle eats so many apples and they are the dirtiest so i might be buying at least those organic <3 <3

  • Anonymous

    My whole family & I have discovered that organic bananas taste better. Personally, I used to hate bananas because I would “taste” them the rest of the day but I don’t get that with organic. Another interesting tidbit…there was an experiment with chimps where they were given both organic bananas & conventional for many days in a row – the chimps consistently chose the organic bananas first, leaving the conventional ones for later in the day when they had nothing else to eat. I think that’ssaying a lot.

    • hipchicka3

       wow that’s crazy that they know they are different, what just by smelling i guess!

  • Domo44

    Okay so i see that everyone always tends to say “I would buy Organic products but the price is too high”. My counterargument to that would be; “is that an android/Iphone in your hand? Do you really need over 900 cable channels? ”  Think about the things you spend money on that are completely unnecessary, or that seems like everyone needs to have? For me i dont need 900 channels, let alone even would watch half of them. I would much rather spend my money on the small amount extra for organics. You only have one body, and to me treating that body right is much more important then having that phone that everyone has, or the ridiculousness amount of channels people have these days.  

    • hipchicka3

       what you say is true for some people out there, but for others being able to buy everything or most things at the grocery organic is more expensive and hurts the bottom line budget.  having a 3-y-o son who still loves his milk paying the extra $1.99 for organic milk every trip to the store can add up fast

  • Monamagill

    I bought the most delicious small organic bananas. Donn’t know whether to attribute it to the size or the fact that they were organic! But I am rather convinced that the quality of the soil is a huge factor in the quality of produce and chemicals do fall into the soil when produce is sprayed. I believe many of us have another factor that puts us in danger. It is leaky gut. Our intestines in many cases have been damaged by the use of antibiotics and NSAIDS and because of that, these poisonous chemicals get into our blood streams. This is a condition that is not recognized by doctors, but is in my opinion a huge health problem contributing to the onset of many serious conditions. Buy organic and eventually it will be the only option!

    • http://mymommatoldme.com Kristen

       Thanks for your comment and insight!  Yes, it is my hope that “organic” will be the standard instead of of an upgrade for consumers–we have to demand it for our health!