10 Facts About Bananas That Make The Fruit More Interesting

When you’re eating food do you thinking
about where its from, what it actually is or if it’s radioactive or not? We’re usually too busy enjoying food to
think about all the little known facts behind them. Some foods, like bananas, have very interesting
details you probably didn’t know about! So here’s 10 facts about bananas that make
the fruit more interesting. Bananas are Actually A Berry That’s right, a banana is in fact a berry. While it certainly doesn’t look like the
typical berries we normally think of, it is still classified as one. The way fruits are classified by type is surprisingly
scientific. We won’t bore you with the full details, but
it is a fact that Bananas are indeed a berry. To be defined as a berry a fruit must be without
a “stone”, produced from a single flower containing one ovary. In other words, most fruits that grow in clusters
are classified as berries because they have multiple seeds and ovaries within them. There are actually other fruits that you may
be surprised to know are technically berries including: cucumbers, grapes, kiwi fruit,
watermelons, tomatoes and even punmpkins, to name a few. That said, we’re not sure how seriously we
all should take this scientific classification of berries as most of our favourite “berries”
like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are not actually classified as berries, scientifically
speaking… go figure. They Can Come In A Multitude Of Colors Although it is known that bananas can be red,
they can also come in purple, green and brown when ripe, yes even when they are brown they
are still ripe. Since bananas are a product that grow in clusters
from a plant, the word is used to cover both the plant it grows from and the fruit itself. This means that the term ‘banana’ is extended
to cover other members of the plant genus, Musa, and adds scarlet bananas, pink bananas,
and the Fe’i bananas which are a sort of burnt orange. In India, Southeast Asia, and China wild bananas
grow with such diversity they have been spotted in bubblegum-pink, and green and white striped
and ones with fuzzy skin. The color variants only apply to the outer,
peelable shell of the fruit and not the actual banana flesh itself. The inside always stays light yellow with
a few of those yummy looking brown spots here and there, but don’t worry the spots don’t
mean the banana is rotten. The spots are completely harmless. If you are one of those people who really
hate green and brown bananas, you could always put them in the sun, it allows them to ripen
and turn yellow faster. Banana Beer And Wine Banana wine is primarily distilled and used
in East Africa, especially in Tanzania where it is made commercially, although outside
of Africa it can be pretty hard to find. The wine itself is made in sort of the same
way as any other wine: ripe bananas are mushed down and fermented with sugar and yeast added,
and apparently it comes out as a clear, sparkling wine that is sweet and can have varying alcohol
levels depending on the amount of sugar and yeast added. Although efforts have been made in the past
to bring the small-scale productions to an international scale, it has yet to really
take off. Banana beer is also mainly prevalent in Eastern
Africa, although it enjoys much more traditional significance than the wine and has proved
to be far more popular. It is created by peeling and kneading ripened
bananas before distilling them with water and then Sorghum, a type of grass, is lightly
ground and roasted before being added to the banana juice. The beer is commonly consumed during rituals
and ceremonies in Western Uganda and is available in three different brands. Bananas Don’t Actually Grow On Trees This may surprise you but the big tall trees
you see bananas growing on aren’t actually trees at all, they are in fact, the plant
that the banana grows from. The plant is called a banana plant instead
of a banana tree and it also happens to be among the largest herbaceous flowering plants
on earth. To put it simply, what appears to be the trunk
of a Banana tree, is actually the stem of the Banana plant. It’s a plant stem, not a tree trunk, even
if it looks like one. The main difference between the stem and a
trunk is that a trunk is made out of bark, or wood, while a stem is made out of plant
fibre, in this case banana fibre. It’s really not a wonder that people mistake
the stem for a tree, after all the plant can grow to be between 16 feet to 23 feet high
with leaves extending as far out as nearly 9 feet. It does seem rather strange that something
as tall as a tree and something that looks like a tree is not classed as a tree but it’s
mainly due to the fact that its stem isn’t made of wood and therefore doesn’t have
a trunk, one of the main classifications for a tree. So technically, it’s a berry plant, not
a banana tree. It’s all very scientific. The Banana Forms From A “Heart” Now don’t get too attached or worried, the
banana heart isn’t like a beating heart of an animal or person and the banana doesn’t
hold love or attachment to its neighboring bananas, it’s mainly called a heart because
of the way it comes into existence. When a Banana plant matures, it stops producing
new leaves and instead begins to form something called a “Banana heart”. To make a complicated matter simple, when
a Banana plant is mature, it starts to produce a “heart” which eventually emerges at the
top of the plant. From there, the Bananas start to sprout and
grow from the heart, into the larger clusters of of Bananas you see hanging from the top
of Banana plants, and at your local produce vendors and grocery stores. So next time you’re looking up at a Banana
plant or see a bushel of Bananas, remember it started from a tiny little Banana heart. Bananas Have Seeds In Them Before you start saying that you’ve never
seen seeds in a banana you absolutely have and most likely thought it was something else. Because bananas are a fruit, they automatically
have seeds in them, that’s just one of the classifications it needs to meet to be called
such and while they may not be large enough for you to see or to unexpectedly bite on,
they are definitely there. They aren’t dangerous in any way and are
too small to be even a choking hazard. In the types of bananas you would usually
get at the grocery store and eat while you run around like crazy at work and call it
a lunch, the seeds have been diminished so much that they are nearly non-existent, nearly. The tiny little seeds can still be seen on
the inside of your banana in the form of little black specks. But don’t worry they are in no way harmful
and won’t make banana plants blossom out of your stomach. Like most berries, you can safely eat these
seeds, no problem. Bananas Are Radioactive This may sound alarming but bananas are actually
radioactive and are one of the most radioactive of all fruits, but if you had a rad meter,
or a Pip Boy, with you, it most likely wouldn’t even pick up on it. That’s because bananas are only slightly
radioactive, not enough to harm you unless you ate a ridiculous amount, and it would
truly have to be a ridiculous amount. This is because your body naturally creates
potassium and you need to compete with it for any sort of dramatic effects. The bananas also have a slight glow in the
dark when ripe, which allows nocturnal animals to find them more easily, although this is
probably more likely to do with the naturally occurring fluoresce than any sort of significant
radiation. The reason it’s classed as radioactive is
because of their potassium level. Potassium decay results in something known
as Potassium-40, which is a radioactive Potassium isotope, which all sounds very scientific
and a little daunting. There really isn’t any need for alarm though,
our bodies naturally require certain levels of potassium in order to survive. The presence of potassium in our bodies helps
to lower blood pressure, assists the nervous system, affects anxiety and stress and even
kidney disorders. It’s also an old wives tale they can be
used to reduce menstrual cramps. Some other foods that are surprisingly radioactive
include potatoes, carrots, beer, red meat, and butter beans. There Are Actually Many Different Types Of
Bananas Over the years there have been many discussions
and some very serious debate about how to class bananas and how many cultivars of them
there actually are. While some have been added and taken away,
the two most commonly acknowledged cultivars of banana are Musa acuminata, usually what
we’re referring to when we say ‘dessert bananas’, and cooking bananas which we commonly
refer to as plantains, usually a hybrid cultivar by the name Musa paradisiaca. The difference isn’t really in the DNA of
the banana or even how it looks, but more how humans eat and prepare the different types. However this distinction is usually only seen
in North American and European countries, with places in Southeast Asia claiming no
distinction at all since both bananas can be prepared and eaten the exact same way. Dessert bananas are the bananas that you eat,
hopefully, very often and the ones we use for our cereal and school lunch boxes. The big difference is that dessert bananas
are eaten raw. The plantain bananas are usually only eaten
after being cooked. And by cooked, we mean in a pan or pot, not
cooked into banana bread. Plantains are stated to be more starchy and
less sweet than dessert bananas, they also may have thicker skin and can be used at any
stage of ripeness. The Banana is Thousands of Years Old While the dates are a bit sketchy, bananas
have been part of our lives for a very long time – they’re something that everyone eats,
unless you’re allergic to latex, and something that everyone has a memory of whether it be
the smell of freshly baked banana bread or watching people slip and fall on the peels
during Saturday morning cartoons. The answer to who was the first person to
take a bite out of one of the yellow fruit fingers can be vaguely narrowed down to someone
in the Western Highland Province of Papau New Guinea. Archaeological finds put the location at Kuk
Swamp, a place where significant agricultural development took place, sometime around at
least 5000 BCE, if not even earlier, and that’s probably as close to an answer as you’ll
get. While they Papau New Guineans seemed to be
the first to domesticate the fruit, it wasn’t long before it ended up in Africa and Southeast
Asia where it has had a long history of cultivation and diversity, as well as making its way to
the Middle East where the consumption of it is drastically increased during the month
of Ramadan. The fruit eventually found its way to the
Portuguese, who then in turn introduced it to the Americans who began to consume them
in limited amounts, due to the high price tag that accompanied such exotic fruit, shortly
after the Civil War. Today, the sweet, yellow fruit is enjoyed
all over the world, India and China export most of the world’s bananas with a combined
total of about 28%. The banana remains an important food in many
of the world’s developing countries as it is a very healthy and easily accessible fruit
that can be made into a variety of meals and dishes and it can grow in just about any type
of soil all year round.The Yellow Color Is Actually Fake While the pale yellow and sometimes greenish-yellow
color of bananas is genuine, the bright, vibrant yellow that we see sitting on the shelves
is actually artificial. Today’s bananas are harvested and exported
at such a massive and economically efficient scale that the ripening of the fruit has to
be artificially sped up to meet the demand of the millions who eat them. Due to this process, the bananas end up coming
out a much more vibrant color than they were before, as well as having their taste and
texture slightly altered, even to the point that if below a certain temperature they will
completely stop ripening and just turn grey and break down. When the bananas are picked, they are almost
completely green and not at all ripened. To speed this up, the fruit is locked in an
airtight room after it arrives to it’s destination and sits there while the room is filled with
ethylene gas, a type of colorless, flavorless gas with a musty sweet smell, to cause the
ripening process to speed up. It’s this gas that give the bananas the
signature yellow color we are so used to. If you see bananas in a supermarket that are
fully green, it’s because the retailer ordered them “ungassed”. The non-gassed versions will never fully turn
to a yellow color before rotting and are the type of bananas usually used for cooking. Go bananas for more of our great videos. Just tap that screen. And if it’s your first time here, how about
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