Green Bananas: Just Say No!

'Cavendish' bananas are the main commercial cu...
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She’s absolutely positively WRONG about the edibility of bananas.

If they are the least bit ripe (indicated by those wonderful brown indicator-spots) she gets the dry heaves. But for me, an unripe banana’s smell is wholly unappealing and repugnant. Anybody knows that.

Why can’t she just accept that a banana is only edible if it gives off that fruity-sweet fragrance so popular among the local Drosophila. You just can’t fool a fruit fly.

The only good banana is a fully ripe banana. Why is it so impossible for her to admit that!

Of course, I’m intentionally exaggerating this tiny tempest of disagreement in our household, and maybe yours.

But it brings to mind how important it is, in our personal interactions, to make the distinction between those things we hold onto with a white-knuckled grip that at bottom are matters of taste, bias, habit or opinion and those statements that are, as close as we can make them, matters of fact corresponding to realities in the publicly-observable world.

The latter are statements whose validity is generally supported by a consensus of judgment in the greater society, and they are ultimately falsifiable.

He says the moon is a rocky orb more than 200 thousand miles away and the other guy says, no, it’s made of vanilla yogurt and only a few feet higher than the top of the ridge.

If conclusion to this debate, Captain Yogurt dismissively says “You have your opinion, I have mine” then there is no more progress towards a resolution of the truth. His data collection comes only from the experiences and judgements in his mind, and that is enough for him to make it so.

As a number of folks have cautioned: “you are entitled to your own opinion. You are NOT entitled to your own TRUTH.” We don’t own facts.

In the end, you just can’t ignore the fruit flies. And black bananas: my brother likes them that way. Can you believe that? Wrong Wrong Wrong!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I’m with her. I can’t stand the texture of a ripe banana (I throw up unless it’s disguised in something) so I learned to eat them green when I eat them at all.
    And some things require either the ability to say “you have your opinion, I have mine” or a good defense attorney.

  2. I enjoyed countering an anti-evolutionist, anti-DNA person by saying I was a big fan of both because I helped in the initial research on DNA function as a biochem lab tech in the early ’60’s. The next day she said that sounded interesting, and wanted to know what is biochemistry. Very polite converstaion, the only kind I can endure.

  3. Green bananas, while not as tasty as yellow bananas, have some very important health benefits. Namely:

    “Green bananas contain indigestible (to humans) short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are a favorite food of the cells that make up the lining of the intestines. When these cells are well-nourished and healthy, the body’s ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium can increase dramatically.”

    Some people can’t tolerate the taste and texture (they tend to leave a gritty aftertaste) of green bananas. So a trick is to use green bananas in a fruit smoothie! Something that can cause your body to absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat is a very good thing.