What do you do with Thousands of Bananas? | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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What do you do with Thousands of Bananas? 

Published November 8, 2007 at 9:00 p.m.

Ask the folks who live on Tershelling Island and Ameland Island. Apparently, some weird stuff washes up on their beaches. Twenty years ago, it was a large number of sweaters. Last year, the current brought tennis shoes. This year, bananas. Bunches and bunches of them. The fruit was in a cargo container that fell from a ship during a storm and burst open.There's a pretty cool pic floating around the net. You can find it at the Washington Post.
     Maybe they should attempt to make the world's largest banana split. The title, as far as I can tell, is currently held by Selingsgrove, PA. There, in 1988, they made one that contained 33,000 bananas and 2,500 gallons of ice cream. As of 2003, the record was still standing. My teeth hurt just thinking about it.
    I visited the Guinness Book of World Records site to make sure that the Pennsylvanians still hold the title before mentioning it. That particular record isn't on the site, but I did learn that today, November 8, is "Guinness World Records Day." I've never looked at this web-page before in my life. What are the chances that I would stumble across it during this very special celebration? Spooky. To give the GBOWR its due, I did a search for records related to food. Did you know that the world's biggest stir-fry wasn't made in China? It was made in Klerksdorp, South Africa out of 2319 pounds of vegetables and meat.

Speaking of China, the Beijing Olympics committee swears that the swine being raised to feed the throngs at the global event aren't getting the Kobe beef treatment, despite what the head of the "Olympics sole pork supplier" has to say. He not only claims that the beasts are being immunized daily (hello, antibiotic resistant bacteria strains) but also that they are exercising daily. That last part I wouldn't mind. I like it when my dinner's in good shape.

Wanna lose weight but don't wanna work out like an Olympic-bound piglet? Some folks believe that ear stapling is the way to go. Seriously. Proponents claim that inserting two small, stainless-steel staples, one in each ear, can  "target certain reflex points designed to affect hunger, sugar cravings and tension."
    According to one believer, "Portion size is decreased, along with cravings for the Big Macs, sweets and salty food, and snacking in between." Somehow, it's hard for me to believe it's that easy.

If you have trouble losing weight and don't want your ears (or your stomach) stapled, you'll be thrilled about new research which shows that being overweight might not be as dangerous as people thought. Interesting stuff. I'll be right back, I'm going to go eat a few donuts and a couple of burgers.

But I'm not going to have falafel, 'cause that's what terrorists eat. In this dangerous, post-September 11th world, the FBI briefly tried a new tactic, culinary profiling. Apparently, our best and brightest searched San Fran area grocery store records from 2005 and 2006 looking for peaks in the sale of Middle-Eastern foods. I guess they thought it would be a good way to uncover lurking terrorist groups. What they forget is that everybody loves falafel.
    Luckily for chickpea lovers everywhere, the project was quickly terminated due to the possibility that it was mildly illegal. Oh yeah, and patently idiotic.

I think that's enough for now.


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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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