New Internationalist

And Another Thing…

Issue 317

new internationalist
issue 317 - October 1999

And another thing...
Cartoonist Viv Quillin tells you more than
you really need know about bananas.

It's celibate and so particularly welcome in our little herb garden.
The banana resembles a tree but is a giant herb that has
flowers without sex organs and fruit without seeds.


[image, unknown]
Buddha made the banana plant the symbol of the futility
of earthly possessions because of its infertility.
Classic Chinese iconography shows him meditating on
the key to wisdom at the foot of a banana plant.


[image, unknown]
There are just two main varieties of banana consumed outside the tropics:
Gros Michel is susceptible to Panama disease (wilt) and leaf spot (Sigatoga)
but tolerant of the burrowing nematode worm; Cavendish is resistant to
wilt but susceptible to leaf spot and worms. No variety
resistant to all three has yet been discovered.


[image, unknown]
Recent excavations discovered the remains of a sixteenth-century banana in London,
but for the most part the fruit was ignored in Europe until the twentieth century,
since it ripened too quickly to be transported by sea.


[image, unknown]
The fruit contains large quantities of energy (90 calories per 100 grams)
and potassium (380 milligrams) - one banana provides more than an adult's daily requirement.


[image, unknown]
Singer Carmen Miranda made her name by appearing clothed in bananas,
encouraging United Fruit to adopt the 'Miss Chiquita' banana-clad figure,
now discredited by the antics of Chiquita Brands International.

previous page choose a different magazine go to the contents page go to the NI home page next page

This first appeared in our award-winning magazine - to read more, subscribe from just £7

Comments on And Another Thing...

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

This article was originally published in issue 317

New Internationalist Magazine issue 317
Issue 317

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.