My Fight With Bananas
For the past five months I almost never ate a banana. You see the story can be summed up like this, “I found out some bad news about bananas so we broke up. I ended it.“
What was the bad news? I learned that bananas were a sterile plant. Basically man-made. Bananas can’t reproduce naturally because really intelligent humans have genetically engineered bananas to no longer have seeds. So if a fire, drought, or other natural disaster wiped away the banana plantations, our grocery stores and school lunches would no longer have bananas as we know it.
Why did we genetically engineer the banana? Because we didn’t like the banana as it was. With seeds and a starchy flavor. We wanted a sweeter, bigger banana so that we could feel good about eating a “fruit.”
Learning that one of my favorite foods fruits was man-made, and probably the least natural representation of fruit on the planet, left me heartbroken. I felt betrayed, confused, and resentful. Much like ending a long term relationship after a deceitful lie was brought to light.
So what did I do? I immediately stopped eating bananas. Banana ice cream was completely cut out of the picture, green smoothies were now made with berries and stevia, and Ecuador’s banana market went down 2 points. AND, I called up every girlfriend I knew and told her what a deceitful creature this banana was. I was pissed.
Five months later I began to miss my banana lover. I was throwing away all of my expensive herb and superfood filled smoothie once they were half drunk and warm because they didn’t taste good enough to drink. I turned to a more fattening almonds, honey, and cacao dessert. I started to eye friends’ bananas with jealousy. And when meeting a male friend for dinner I almost asked, “Is that a banana in your pocket?”
It took a pretty metaphorical realization to mend my broken heart and welcome bananas back into my life. When bananas were a part of my diet, I was drinking a more nutritious breakfast every morning because the sweetness of the banana counteracted the bitter greens and herbs in my smoothie. Also, my banana ice cream dessert was a bit better balanced than nuts and sugar every other night. It was time to welcome bananas back into my life in a responsible, sensible way - for health and for enjoyment.
Here’s the larger message of this almost-too-long story: It’s impossible to have the perfect diet. It’s not practical to deny yourself pleasures if it means you will end up sacrificing more than you bargained for. Sometimes health is about compromise; a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. And just because it’s “wrong” doesn’t mean it’s “not right.”
Enjoy your bananas and any other not-so-guilty pleasure you have that keeps the world turning.