Inside the Dark Underworld of Bananas

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December 5, 2011

They might look the world's most popular, ubiquitous yellow fruit, but bananas sometimes have a mysterious side to them. Ever wondered how they got to the neighborhood supermarket? 

In stores, customers can find a wide color spectrum of fruits available for purchase. Bananas are not imported already yellow. How then do they reach their yellow color for consumers? For people in New York the answer is that your fruit likely spends some time in a fruit ripening facility somewhere in the Bronx. There are seven generally accepted shades of ripening and stores order partial orders at various points in process. 

Meanwhile halfway around the world, sales of bananas in Mozambique have plummeted after an email hoax linked the fruit to a flesh-eating disease. Email and text messages were sent to residents warning that bananas could be infected with necrotising fasciitis, a bacteria that destroys skin, fat and tissue covering muscles. The hoax claimed bananas from the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal province carried the bacteria (even though Mozambique doesn't import bananas from there). 

 

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