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19 MIN READ TIME

Follow your food: banana

Have you ever stopped to think of the life your produce has led before you pick it up from the supermarket shelf and place it in your basket? It’s easy to forget how far some products have travelled to finally end up in our homes – and not to mention the time, effort and man-power required to grow and transport them. The banana is no exception; commonly grown in tropical climates within 30 degrees either side of the equator – in countries which have an average temperature of 27°C/80°F – these yellow fruits have covered many miles before they reach our doorsteps.

The banana fruit is actually a berry and it grows from a herb, rather than a palm tree – which is a common assumption. From sowing a banana bulb to harvesting the fruit takes between 9-12 months, and unlike most other fruit, they don’t have a particular season, meaning they’re available worldwide all year round. Once they are fully grown, the bananas will be harvested while they are still green. They then undergo an intense inspection process, as buyers of fruit in Europe expect very high standards, meaning unbruised, visually perfect produce. Fruit that doesn’t make the cut will be sold on to local areas at a much lower price. Large refrigerated ships known as reefers transport the bananas to the UK and Europe – these can take anywhere between 6-12 days. Workers handle the fruit with extreme care to prevent any damage or bruising that could cause buyers to reject it. Humidity, ventilation and temperature conditions are also carefully monitored to maintain a high quality – the reefer ships usually keep a temperature of 13.3°C/55.9°F. When bananas finally reach their destination, they are sent to ripening rooms where they undergo a process involving ethylene gas. They’re then taken to the retailers and sold to the public.

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About PlantBased

Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to take advantage of the fresh fruit and veg which fills our supermarket shelves – and if we’re lucky – our gardens, too. This month, we’ve included a wide range of dishes to help put your produce to good use, by including recipes for fresh salads (p24), delicious fruit tarts (p41) and authentic Asian dishes (p71). As August gifts us with long, warm evenings, it’s the perfect time to throw a garden party – but why not add a fun, Mexican twist? On page 28, we share our tips on how to throw a successful fiesta, followed by five recipes that will leave your guests wanting more. However nice the summer sun is, it can be easy to forget how important it is to protect our skin. Turn to page 76 to find Dr Diccardo Di Cuffa’s advice on how to stay safe in the sun. Later in the mag, we head to Cape Town to explore the plant-based options the city has to offer, while recommending a host of restaurants you must try when visiting the cape. We also share a veganised recipe of the Bobotie – a classic South African dish, originally made with meat – let us know what you think of it. Enjoy the issue.

Other Articles in this Issue


PlantBased
Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to take
Please subscribe me to PlantBased Magazine
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Rounding up the latest plant-based food, health and product news
Our pick of the best on the plant-based scene
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Visit Bournemouth’s top vegan restaurant
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Dr Justine Butler from Viva! Health explains why it’s a myth that you need meat to get enough iron
Find out how to grow, store and cook this vibrant veg
Dr Greger explains why we need to cut down our intake
Dr Justine Butler from Viva! Health explains the power of plants
Explore the plant-based options this beautiful city has to offer
Recipes
Per slice (107g) Calories 321, Fat 23g, Saturates 14g
Per serving (582g) Calories 476, Fat 15g, Saturates
This recipe uses cornmeal to make a delicious, gluten-free
Per serving (356g) Calories 442, Fat 11g, Saturates
Per serving (159g) Calories 219, Fat 13g, Saturates
These are five completely different ways to dress your salad, from the classic French dressing to the Asian-inspired sesame and soy dressing – there is one for every occasion.
These chia puddings are the perfect way to start your
This hash makes a great breakfast or brunch. The high
I love making this for lunches for the week ahead.
Per serving (135g) Calories 138, Fat 5.6g, Saturates
Per serving (586g) Calories 510, Fat 18g, Saturates
Per serving (287g) Calories 177, Fat 9g, Saturates
Per serving (241g) Calories 101, Fat 4.5g, Saturates
Bobotie is a traditional South African dish consisting
Per serving (121g) Calories 184, Fat 4g, Saturates
Per serving (501g) Calories 620, Fat 13g, Saturates
Features
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits around, but we find out what goes on before they’re sold in stores
Decorate your garden and throw a Mexican party
Find out how CBD oil can boost your health and wellbeing
Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa tell us how and why it’s important to protect our skin