Are bananas dangerous

It is better to wash your hands after eating bananas

So practical for on the go: the banana is one of the most popular types of fruit among Germans. But consumption is more problematic than you think - because you should wash your hands afterwards.

Yellow, sweet and tasty - Germans love bananas. However, conventional cultivation often results in pesticide residues on the fruit, which are classified as suspected of being cancerous, as studies have repeatedly shown. In a study by the “Öko-Test” magazine, one of 22 brands was rated “satisfactory”, four “adequate”, two “poor” and three “unsatisfactory”.

Better not to touch bananas - or wash your hands

Bananas: According to the magazine "Öko-Test", bananas from Penny, Rewe, Netto Marken-Discount and Kaufland were particularly badly affected. (Source: Belga / imago images)

"Öko-Test" assumes that there are large amounts of the anti-fungal agent Imazalil and the insecticide Bifenthrin on the banana peel. Anti-mold agents - so-called fungicides - are intended to prevent the fruits from rotting prematurely in transit. Analyzes by supervisory authorities have also shown that the pulp is not always free from synthetic chemical toxins. The Bavarian Consumer Center is reassuring: there are usually few or no pesticides under the banana peel.

For these reasons, however, it is advisable to buy organic bananas - preferably in combination with Fairtrade. The twelve organic bananas in the "Öko-Test" were each given the grade "very good" or "good". If you still want to use conventional bananas, you should wash your hands as a precaution after peeling so that the toxins do not remain on the skin or are transferred to clothing.

Tip: Children should not even get their hands on bananas from conventional supermarkets or discounters, but only get them peeled.

That is how dangerous banana cultivation is

Conventionally grown bananas can pose a health risk not only to customers, but also to workers on the plantations who are directly exposed to the toxins. Because so that there is no loss of earnings, the pesticides are usually sprayed on the plantations by plane - while the workers are still present.

The health risk was also confirmed by a study by the Organization Doctors for a Healthy Environment (ÄGU) in 2016. Environmental medicine specialist Hans-Peter Hutter and his team compared workers on conventional and ecological banana plantations in Ecuador for cell changes. With clear results: Of eight typical core anomalies that indicate an increased risk of cancer, all workers in conventional farming were significantly increased - in some cases by up to 155 percent. This means that these workers have a much higher risk of developing cancers such as leukemia than workers in organic farming.

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  • Subjects:
  • Life,
  • To eat and drink,
  • Banana,
  • Pesticides,
  • Study,
  • Fair trade,
  • Cancer risk,
  • Eco test,
  • Oxfam,
  • Everyday knowledge