Bananas are among the most popular fruits in the world, being one of the top foods consumed worldwide and the most consumed fresh fruit in the United States. The sweet yellow fruit is an important source of potassium, pectin, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, as well as antioxidants, responsible for protecting the body against free radicals with which we come into contact daily.
How Much Do Bananas Cost?
The price of a banana will depend on the time of the year or the place you buy it from. For example, one pound of bananas at a local grocery store will be anywhere between $0.75 and $1.50, while the costs at a farmer’s market will be much lower.
For instance, the sellers at farmer’s markets from the Asian markets of San Francisco, California, are charging anywhere between $0.50 and $1 for one pound of bananas.
You can find pre-packed bananas at Costco, which come in bags of two or three pounds and are sold for $1.75 to $3.5.
The price of exotic bananas such as purple bananas or red bananas is anywhere between $2.5 and $5 per pound.
Depending on the season, expect to pay anywhere between $1.50 and $5 per pound for the organic bananas.
What are the extra costs?
In general, the price of organic bananas is about 20% to 40% higher.
Bananas do not grow in trees as most people would think. Rather, they grow on a rooted structure that forms a stem above the ground. The plant is classified as a tree type, perennial. It is, in fact, the largest flowering herbaceous plant in the world.
Bananas are elongated, slightly curved fruits that grow in a banana tree, often grouped in large clusters. The shell is yellow, green, or red depending on the species, and pretty easy to peel. The inner part is a consistent amylaceous pulp with a sweet taste.
Most bananas grown worldwide are used for local consumption. In the tropics, bananas are a major source of food as well as a major source of income for small farmers. In the mountainous lands of East Africa, bananas are of the greatest importance as a staple food for the population.
India is at the top of the list by producing the largest number of bananas at around 30 million tons. It is followed by China with 12 million tons. The Philippines ranks third with over 8 million tons of production.
Important things to consider
Bananas that are good for cooking have a dry texture, contain more starch, and can be used in soups, purees, or desserts, but are delicious when cooked or fried.
Those that are too ripe, with brown spots, contain more sugar than bananas with a still green tip, the latter being considered to be healthier.
If eaten together with a source of protein (nuts, seeds, whole grains), bananas help to normalize insulin secretion as a result of their high sugar.
Bananas are the only fruits that contain amino acids, tryptophan, and vitamin B6 that help the human body produce serotonin, a natural chemical that relieves mental depression.
A study published in 2010 in the Biological Chemistry journal showed that a protein found in bananas would have the ability to prevent the reproduction of HIV-infected cells.
If you go to the gym, two bananas can provide enough energy for a 90-minute workout.
Even banana peels have beneficial effects on health. They can be applied to the skin to dry the pimples naturally. Shells can also be used as a natural fertilizer, having a positive effect on roses.
What do bananas contain?
- Vitamin B6 – 0.5 mg
- Manganese – 0.3 mg
- Vitamin C – 9 mg
- Potassium – 450 mg
- Dietary fiber – 3g
- Protein – 1 g
- Magnesium – 34 mg
- Folic acid – 25.0 mcg
- Riboflavin – 0.1 mg
- Niacin – 0.8 mg
- Vitamin A – 81 IU
- Iron – 0.3 mg
The recommended intake of potassium for adults is 4,700 milligrams per day.
How to store bananas?
It is important to note that bananas should not be stored in the refrigerator. Even the greenest one will suffer from the cold. Their aging process will be interrupted which will reduce their quality. They are exotic fruits and they do not go along with low temperatures. Therefore, the best way to store them is at room temperature.
You can put bananas next to other green fruits to slow down the ripening process. They will ripen harder and the other fruit faster.
Bananas oxidize quickly and therefore the recipes that contain these fruits should not be made long before they are eaten.
What does a ripe banana look like?
How can I save money?
If you want to save money on the bananas try buying them from a local farmer’s market because, in most cases, the prices there will be lower compared with what you can find at a large grocery store.