Time flies like the wind; fruit flies like a banana. DearKidLoveMom.com Weird banana factsDear Kid,

Yesterday when Booker saw the deer he went bananas. Which of course got me thinking about bananas. And being the kind of mom I am, I am going to share some of the weird banana tidbits with you. (You may feel free to thank me later.)

Bananas are naturally radioactive because of their potassium content and the isotope potassium-40. Since you are the chemistry-oriented one, I will not explain this (mostly because I don’t understand it). Since there is not enough radioactivity to upset airport security people, you probably don’t have to worry about eating them.

People eat a lot of bananas.

  • Over 100 billion bananas are consumed annually worldwide, making bananas the 4th largest agricultural product in the world (behind wheat, rice, and corn).
  • This does not include any bananas eaten by Minions.
  • Americans eat 26.2 pounds bananas a year (your father is helping to pull up the average. But not enough because) Ugandans eat 500 pound bananas per year per person. That is A Serious Bunch of bananas.

The banana plant is actually considered an herb and the fruit is a berry. This is crazy confusing because I can’t think of another berry that you peel. (NOTE: strawberries are not considered a berry, but that’s a post for another day.)

Banana plants grow up to 25 feet high, and their leaves can grow to be 9 feet long and 2 feet wide. Their roots can be hundreds of years old.

Great Banana Song #1

Weird Banana Facts

  • The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means Fruit of the Wise Men. This has lots of implications for the celebration of Christmas.
  • Bananas are a very rich source of vitamin B6, which your brain needs to function properly and make you wise. This has no implications for holidays other than Report Card Day.
  • Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons. None of them are useful as personal floatation devices.
  • Bananas are Walmarts’ best selling item. I have no information about seasonal sales of bananas.
  • The word banana comes from an Arab word “banan” meaning finger. An individual banana is called a finger. A bunch of bananas is called a hand.
  • Those stringy things are called phloem (pronounced FLOM). Apparently, if you peel a banana from the bottom, you will be phloem-less. I’ve never proven this because I can never remember this trick until I’m mid-banana.
  • Bananas first became popular in these here United States at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Celebration, where they were sold wrapped in foil for 10 cents each (which was ridiculously expensive then).
  • David Evans Strickler invented the banana split in 1904. He was 23 at the time and understood that there aren’t many foods that don’t improve with a good dose of chocolate.
  • Miss Chiquita first appeared on banana labels in 1963 (which was an exceptionally good year for a number of reasons).

Never, ever throw a banana into a beehive. The pheromone that makes bananas taste like bananas makes bees go one level over “highly agitated.” So unless you’re looking for really angry bees, keep the bananas away.
Great Banana Song #2

Tune in tomorrow for Weird Uses for Bananas. I mean, really weird.

Love, Mom