Bananas for Bananas

This week’s NY Times Health section featured an essay titled, “Is This the Poster Food for a Radiation Menace?” by Denise Grady. The writer originally was writing about the recent radiation disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but got some bizarre news along the way. People are now direly concerned about radiation exposure in the air or through food products. When asking about health effects of possible radiation exposure, a ‘leading expert’ declared that radioactive material is present EVERYWHERE. According to him, bananas are the most radioactive. Interestingly, it contains traces of radioactive potassium, more than other fruits. I like his quote here, “It stays in our body, in our muscles… Every second, our bodies- yours and mine – are irradiating.”

Hm, funny thing I just ate a banana for breakfast. As a matter of fact, it is the most conveniently packaged fruit. It is highly portable. Your hands do not get dirty or sticky, thanks to the durable peel encasing the soft bundle of yum. It is great by itself, in banana bread when you have an overly ripe and brown banana, in banana split sundaes, and in sandwiches. I really like to make a oddball combination: Skippy peanut butter, cream cheese, and banana on whole wheat bread. Toast it to crunchify it. So good. Plus, if you want to play a good joke, that’s where the peel comes in =D

Now on top of watching out for hyperkalemia (too much potassium can lead to heart arrhythmias, but with normal kidneys, everything is fine), there’s an additional surprise of radiation?! Either way, nothing is stopping me from eating my bananas.

I liked the end of that article when the writer’s husband took a banana to the test with his beloved Geiger counter. The banana was not so hot at all. So he ate the banana. A banana is a banana; it’s still going to be a primate’s favorite snack.


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