Last month our favorite fruit took center field, not for its delicious taste or nutritious properties, but rather as a social statement against racism. On April 28th, Brazilian born full-back Dani Alves was on the field playing for Barcelona when pelted with a banana. The gesture was specific, more than an extension of the eons old tradition of throwing fruit to register displeasure at a performance — and unfortunately not a reflection of a trend towards healthier eating habits in the stands.
So what are we to make of this banana brouhaha?
Team sports – especially soccer and football – incite raging passions. Indeed, passions run so high for serious soccer devotees that game days were found to actually spike heart attacks among countrymen when their national teams are on the field. Unfortunately, sometimes those passions can spill over into ugly racial ire. However, one unintended consequence of the incident and its fall out was more people eating more fruit- in this case bananas, with all their healthy fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6. Regardless of whether banana selfies are an effective way to protest racism, banana snacks are undoubtedly an effective way to refuel the body. As our own Dole Nutrition Research Lab has confirmed, bananas are a natural, nutritionally superior and more cost-effective alternative to popular, additive-filled sports drinks. Looking for a different, thirst quenching way to enjoy bananas? Try this delicious Banana Lassi from our International Banana Cookbook.