Organic Vs Non-Organic Bananas
Organic bananas and inorganic bananas ripen and change color differently.
They spend less time on the tree and get picked earlier than their organic counterparts due to the fact that they get sprayed with a synthetic ethylene to help ripen them. It is also noticeable that all parts of the banana do not ripen at the same time - the stem often still looks underripe and green while the banana looks yellow and ripe. There may also be a grayish color on the top of the banana near the stem (similar to if they have been left out in the cold too long). Surprisingly inorganic bananas tend to take longer to ripen and can last as long as 6 weeks under proper conditions. They are often only treated with ethylene 12-24 hours before they are put out on the shelf.
These bananas spend a lot longer on the tree as they are not sprayed with any ethylene after they have been picked. Because of this natural process, they tend to ripen evenly and the stems will start to brown as the banana ripens. This even coating of color can be a great way to tell if an unmarked banana is organic! Because they have had a longer time on the tree, organic bananas will ripen faster than inorganic ones. Depending the stage at which it was picked from the tree an organic banana can ripen as quickly as 7-10 days or be stored for 3-4 weeks.
So should you only buy organic bananas?
As a food scientist, there are studies that show that the pesticides used in food production are safe for humans. Having said that, long term effects have not been studied in humans, so maybe natural is the way to go. What do you think?