The Anonymous Widower

Bananas And Me

According to my mother, I didn’t see or taste a banana until I was seven.

That would have been 1954, which is when rationing ended.

The Wikipedia entry entitled Rationing In The UK is a valuable resource.

Bananas had been available since 1945, although they had not been imported during the war.

I had been born in 1947, with my sister born in 1950. As my paternal grandmother lived with us, we were a family of five.

So I suspect, that although they were available my mother didn’t buy them for some reason.

The Wikipedia entry has a section called Political Reaction, which talked about reaction to rationing after the war. This is said.

In the late 1940s, the Conservative Party utilised and encouraged growing public anger at rationing, scarcity, controls, austerity and government bureaucracy to rally middle-class supporters and build a political comeback that won the 1951 general election. Their appeal was especially effective to housewives, who faced more difficult shopping conditions after the war than during it.

My father had been politically active before World War II, but he was much more politically agnostic after the war, judging by some things he said to me. I can’t ever remember my mother saying anything political, although I can remember her saying something, which agreed with the last sentence of the Wikipedia extract.

I suspect she was under pressure from my grandmother, so perhaps she kept the shopping light because of rationing.

Anyway, I can remember her telling my wife that my face had been a picture when I saw and ate my first banana.

I’ve not stopped eating them since.

  • I generally eat between one and three every day.
  • I have problems with fruit that needs to be cut up because of my gammy left hand, so for pineapple, melon and mango, I usually buy them ready-cut in pots from Marks and Spencer.
  • I also eat a lot of berries, when they are in season.

But, I never eat oranges, apples or pears, except in a processed form.

Bananas And My Family

As far, as I can check, I’m the only one of my family, who likes bananas and eats them regularly.

I have checked on two sons and my granddaughter and none seem to like them.

Could it be my mother’s denial of the fruit to me until rationing ended, gave me a love of the fruit?

Bananas And Coeliacs

This page on the Harvard University School of Public Health gives the nutrition facts about bananas.

This is the second paragraph.

The scientific name for banana is Musa, from the Musaceae family of flowering tropical plants, which distinctively showcases the banana fruit clustered at the top of the plant. The mild-tasting and disease-resistant Cavendish type is the main variety sold in the U.S. and Europe. Despite some negative attention, bananas are nutritious and may even carry the title of the first “superfood,” endorsed by the American Medical Association in the early 20th century as a health food for children and a treatment for celiac disease.

Now there’s a thing.

This page on the Gluten-Free Watchdog is entitled Early Dietary Treatment for Celiac Disease: The Banana Diet.

I’d never heard of this diet until yesterday.

Interestingly, a large banana contains 50 mg of vitamin B6 according to Dr. Google.

I take a B6 supplement and I wrote about the advice I received from a doctor at a respected medical university in Amsterdam in Vitamin B Complex for Coeliacs.

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November 27, 2022 - Posted by | Food | , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. This is interesting v==. My late aunt suffered from weeping oedema on her legs, and having bought a book called nature’s Pharmacy” she decided (without speaking to a doctor) that her diet was low in potassium and that was causing the oedema. Bananas have a lot of potassium, and so she decided that bananas would cure the oedema and also the heart disease she had. She basically started to eat bananas. JUST bananas. One Monday afternoon after school, I took the girls to visit her – the smell of banana hit me when I walked through the door. She told me that she was eating bananas and in a few days she would be better. The following morning I was due to take her to see her cardiologist, but she rang to say she wasn’t well, her breathing was poor and she was going to cancel the appointment and call her GP. GP had her admitted to hospital – 3rd time since mid-September. I got a phone call that morning to say that the consultant would like to talk to us that afternoon, so we arranged a time.. But I got a call about 20 minutes after that to say she had died. The consultant said that “all those bananas” with cardiac failure was a huge contribution to her death. You are sensible, but not everyone is, so I am posting this for the people who aren’t sensible and think that bananas will cure them.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | November 27, 2022 | Reply

  2. I rarely eat two, let alone three bananas in a day. How many was your aunt eating?

    Comment by AnonW | November 27, 2022 | Reply

    • We think about 12 a day, since she was pretty much housebound we have no idea ow she was getting them. She had unusual ideas and was into “natural healing” – when she was first admitted to hospital she asked me to bring up her rose quartz crystal and one of others whose name I can’t remember because “the young whippersnappers of consultant are trying to give me GTN and I prefer to hold the crystals instead. I took them up, but asked the staff first if it was ok. The staff said that she wasn’t an easy patients, just give them to her. She was very eccentric, but she was lovely too – and she bought me my first Lego.

      Comment by nosnikrapzil | November 27, 2022 | Reply

  3. A couple of points;
    1 Bananas were imported in limited amounts during WWII and Coeliacs were given priority in getting them.

    2 Cavendish bananas are not totally disease resistant as banana plantations in Central & South America and Asia are being ravaged by a virus ruining the crops.

    Comment by Maurice Reed | November 27, 2022 | Reply

    • There is indeed a pandemic of virus affecting the largely monocultural Cavendish banana crop worldwide, in the same way it affected the previous monocultural variety, the “Gros Michel”.

      Unless a new disease resistant cultivar is found or other ways to address the problem are developed, then we may be seeing the end of widespread banana availability worldwide in the coming decades.

      The virus makes the plantation completely unusable for the variety permanently–eliminates yield 100% and the virus remains latent in the soil even if the plantation is completely removed and the soil lies fallow for some years or is used for other crops.

      The Gros Michel banana are much prized, apparently a much better flavour than Cavendish, still available from the few plantations not affected by virus, and are imported to the UK, but rare and expensive.

      Comment by MilesT | November 27, 2022 | Reply

      • The bananas grown in Madeira and Canary islands are of a different variety and unaffected by the infection affecting the Cavendish types.

        The Germans must be worried as tgey eat more bananas per person per year than anywhere else in Europe. When I was there in the 70s lots of cars had a picture of a banana in the D (for Deutschland) sticker.

        Comment by Maurice Reed | November 28, 2022

    • I thought that the banana disease was fungal?

      Comment by fammorris | November 28, 2022 | Reply


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