The Value of a Banana up a Mountain

If you think about the things in your everyday life, what do they look like; what do you imagine? Your morning coffee, your shower, your commute, your job…

I’d say at least one of these feature in all of our mornings. What about breakfast? Oh yes, Weetbix with a banana. Or a smoothie with a banana. Or peanut butter toast with a banana.

What if I told you that you were taking that banana for granted?

...and the one you chucked out yesterday because you let it go black in the fruit bowl for too long. And the bruised one that you’ve mentally put in the ‘banana muffins’ basket (but that’ll have to wait for the weekend). I’ll wager that most of us have chucked a banana at least once in our lives. I ashamedly put my hand up too, even though I’m very anti-food-waste.

The truth is, bananas are about 89% calories (it’s true, I looked it up). This is an impressive source of energy and we should not be taking them for granted.

Recently, I walked up a mountain with a friend near the rolling city of Marseille. We laced up our shoes, packed our bags with supplies and took a bus into the wilderness (actually, to Campus de Luminy, which is a University pretty much in the wilderness). Hungry before we started walking, the picnic disappeared pretty quickly and all we had for the rest of the day were a few snacks including Whittaker’s chocolate and a mandarin orange. The banana I ate earlier kept me “fuller for longer”, and I was so grateful for those grams of potassium. The wind was chilly, but we were resilient. It was only after sitting on a rock admiring the view for a long time that we started to get cold. And it got me thinking…

  1. Just imagine how much colder I would have been without that banana’s fuel
  2. If I was going to be stuck up a mountain with limited supplies I would save the banana for as long as possible
  3. When you pack food for the day it makes you realise what you really need and what nutritional value you get out of each food item
  4. Travelling gives you a crazy metabolism that’s hard to keep up with, and how much I enjoy the hours of feeling ‘full’ between meals before I have to forage again
  5. Chucking out food is wasting precious supplies, money, time, and our planet’s resources, and it’s just rude to everyone that is in desperate need of food
  6. How much food an average household chucks out because things hide in the back of the fridge, go off, and their values reduce to zero.

I urge you to think about this! I mean, really think about it! Say a banana has 10 points when you buy it: it’s perky, the perfect colour (whatever shade of yellow or green that YOU like), it has no bruises, it doesn’t smell, it is full of fuel and just waiting to nourish your body.

Every time you squash it, every day you leave it, and every time you think “not now, later”, you are stealing the points from it and reducing its value. No-one wants to eat a 4/10 banana when they can buy another 10/10 one at the grocery store. But this over-consumption and wastefulness is killing our planet.

So, please. Next time you are about to buy bananas, eat bananas, chuck bananas - imagine you are up a mountain with a cold wind, limited food and potential bears to face on the way down (do they have bears in France?).

Be MINDFUL. The value you put in the banana equals the value the banana will put in you. Think about this, and you won’t even taste the bruise on the left-hand side.

Bananas-and-out 🍌

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