Sometimes a banana is just a banana

Yeah, that’s just what they’d like you to believe:

Dole and other banana growers have turned the creation of a banana into a science, in part to manipulate perceptions of freshness. In fact, they’ve issued a banana guide to greengrocers, illustrating the various color stages a banana can attain during its life cycle. Each color represents the sales potential for the banana in question. For example, sales records show that bananas with Pantone color 13-0858 (otherwise known as Vibrant Yellow) are less likely to sell than bananas with Pantone color 12-0752 (also called Buttercup), which is one grade warmer, visually, and seems to imply a riper, fresher fruit. Companies like Dole have analyzed the sales effects of all varieties of color and, as a result, plant their crops under conditions most ideal to creating the right “color.”

Not that anyone is going to buy Banana Crepe (Pantone color 13-0815).

Perhaps I just don’t understand the system, because I buy bananas on the basis of greenness: I buy once a week, on Saturday, and if I have one left by Friday, I’d just as soon it didn’t vaguely resemble a mahogany machete handle. (They are stored in a bowl on the breakfast bar.) To this end, I buy organics when they’re offered; in my experience, they hold up better. And if everything in the store is yellow, regardless of specific Pantone shade, I end up buying fewer. Simple as that.

(Via American Digest. Due to differences in hardware, colors specified may not appear exactly as intended or as on official Pantone samples.)

5 comments

  1. Luther »

    18 September 2011 · 11:10 pm

    As someone who has imbibed, at minimum, one banana a day for the last forty years, I’ll soon enough discern there nefariousness. F**k with my banana then you f**k with me.

    Yes, it is that personal. Though, assuredly, I’m a loner here.

  2. Charles Pergiel »

    19 September 2011 · 12:31 am

    What? Plan ahead? A whole week? What are you? Some kind of communist?

  3. Mel »

    19 September 2011 · 1:28 am

    Funny. I jumped right in and read the article without reading the title.

    At the end, I thought to myself “Sometimes a banana is just a banana”.

    Then I read the title and felt safe in the knowledge that it is decidedly so … sometimes.

  4. Bill K »

    19 September 2011 · 2:35 pm

    How Green Was My Banana

    The only way a bunch of bananas can last an entire week is to have a team of people with different preferences. We buy them when they’re solid green. My wife’s turn comes first, and lasts as long as I can HEAR it when she peels one. For me, a banana must be dentable but not bendable.

  5. CGHill »

    19 September 2011 · 3:58 pm

    Seems reasonable enough.

    I generally buy five or six to the bunch, but four if they’ve gone all yellow on me. And no, I do not separate bunches in order to get the precise number I want.

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