Ever heard of banana humping?

Have you ever asked yourself how much work goes into the production of a banana?

Bananas grow in warm, tropical climates on plants with very shallow roots. It not uncommon for a whole banana plant to be pulled over simply by the weight of its own fruit. A banana consists of 75% water and is naturally high in vitamin C, potassium, fibre and vitamin B6.

Bananas are harvested by hand usually when they are still green. The plants grow to nine metres tall so workers must pull down the plant to cut off the stem of bananas using a machete. The worker then carries the cut stem with its “hands” of bananas to a trailer. This process is called “banana humping”.

A stem of bananas weighs between 30 and 60 kilos so it is very strenuous and sweaty work. When the trailer is full of banana stems it is driven to the shed where the stems are washed. After this the single banana hands or clusters are separated from the stem and washed again. There are often frogs, rats and even poisonous snakes and spiders between the bananas so the workers have to be careful and watch out for nasty surprises.

The banana hands are individually inspected and then carefully packed into cartons to be sent all over the world. During transport they ripen, so by the time they reach our supermarket shelves they are yellow and ready to eat. So much work just for a banana!

Banana fields

Banana trees

Bananas being carried to the trailer

Bananas before washing

Bananas are washed

To see the banana harvest for yourself take a look at:

And for some wacky banana facts go to:

http://thebananapolice.com/fun-facts/

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