Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A good idea

About three years ago, the Scientific American podcast did an episode on the huge monocropping of bananas. It talked about how our grandparents ate a banana cultivar tastier than what we have today before a fungus wiped it out. Inevitably, our current banana, the Cavendish, is threatened by yet another fungus. This goes hand in hand with the seed bank article in the current National Geographic, which presents the paradox of needing to feed 7 billion people with high yielding crops while preserving a diversity of farming practices and thus our future food supply.

Between all that talk about America's unsustainable banana eating habits and the NYT article about the terrible inequalities of banana pickers in Latin America, I find myself totally unable to eat bananas. That is, until recently, when I saw fair trade bananas at Whole Foods.

I haven't researched very deeply into this but a quick trip to google makes the whole thing seem more or less legitimate. Excited, I bought a few, and make this quick and delicious "ice cream." This is is a great summer frozen treat recipe, for those times when you've finished all the Ben and Jerry's in the freezer and it's too hot to even open the door, let alone walk down the block to Giant. If you stock up on bananas, freeze a bunch of them, you'll never find yourself without ice cream.

While this recipe is infinitely adaptable, I like this particular version because it lets the peanut butter shine through. And if you eat this straight from the food processor, you'll get soft serve. You can also let it harden in the fridge for a few hours for ice cream as well (I would imagine, since I've never actually been able to get to this stage, ever).