The Banana Gets a Second Skin
We already know that bananas are evidence of intelligent design – by farmers, not by god. All commercial crops have been tweaked by the hand of agriculture, but modern bananas reflect perfectly the human need for ergonomics, transportability, and ease of eating. As can be seen in the grocery store pictured above, postmodern bananas don’t come from a physical location, but from a conceptual one. Even with the trendy push for sustainability and accountability in food systems, bananas are still from a generic, marketer’s space of ‘the tropics.’
The Del Monte Corporation now brings us further proof that the seedless yellow clones are just about as divorced from nature as a real fruit can get: individually plastic-wrapped bananas.
The company claims that the bags will keep the bananas at optimum freshness, but as any banana-fan knows, a plastic, paper or cloth bag will do the trick of sealing in the ethlyene gases that speed ripening. Stranger still is Del Monte’s claim that the plastic packaging is environmentally-friendly. Even if the bags inspire people to waste less food, a discarded banana helpfully turns into soil within a few days. A bag is a bag for a thousand years.
No doubt the standard fruit sticker is too demure for Del Monte. It still allows the banana, the unbranded food, to be the first thing supermarket foragers search out. With a brightly colored, single-serving bag, the fruit is finally secondary to the brand. It may be that one day corporations will engineer their logos and marketing claims right into their foods. Until then, you’ll have to peel your banana twice.