Bananas: All That Potassium and Carmen Miranda Too!

Written by Marjorie Dorfman


Bananas: All That Potassium And Carmen Miranda Too!

"ÖWe have old-fashioned tomahto, Long Island potahto, but Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today.."- Folk song by Frank Silver and Irving Cohen (1923)

Whether you are off to Rio followingrepparttar colorful trail of Carmen Mirandaís fruit-filled hat or seated on your couch contemplatingrepparttar 125476 universe,repparttar 125477 banana can always come along forrepparttar 125478 ride. There are so many aspects to this strange and wonderful fruit. Even its shape is a bit mysterious; conjuring images of tropical islands and sun-filled days. Did you know thatrepparttar 125479 word "banana" originates fromrepparttar 125480 Arabic and means finger? Doesnít that make you wonder whererepparttar 125481 rest ofrepparttar 125482 hand is? I have been hooked on bananas ever since I was a child, and Miss Chiquita, drawn by Dik Brown who also createdrepparttar 125483 Campbell kids, used to sing to me throughrepparttar 125484 television in my parentsí living room. (I always wondered why she never had her own show. She was so much cuter than Ed Sullivan.) You remember her words:

Iím Chiquita Banana and Iím here to say

Bananas need to ripen in a special way

When they are flecked with brown and have a golden hue

Bananas tasterepparttar 125485 best and arerepparttar 125486 best for you.

The banana is so popular in America today that four million tons of them are imported every year. Not to compare apples to oranges, but rather apples to bananas, a banana has less water, fifty percent more food energy, four timesrepparttar 125487 protein, halfrepparttar 125488 fat, twicerepparttar 125489 carbohydrate, almost three timesrepparttar 125490 phosphorus, five timesrepparttar 125491 Vitamin C and iron and at least twicerepparttar 125492 other vitamins and minerals as a single apple! The average American eats 33 pounds of bananas a year. An excellent source of potassium and carbohydrates, they can be eaten any time ofrepparttar 125493 day because of their digestive properties. Natural sugar provides energy for those sports requiring endurance and low proportions of sodium chloridium render a good recommendation for salt free diets.

Thatís all quite impressive, I know, but where didrepparttar 125494 banana come from inrepparttar 125495 first place? Did it arrive as a conundrum along withrepparttar 125496 chicken orrepparttar 125497 egg, or did both of them precede it? Buddhist texts from 600bc mentionrepparttar 125498 banana forrepparttar 125499 first time in history. Alexander The Great tasted bananas inrepparttar 125500 Indus Valley in 327bc and in his day they were called pala. China recordsrepparttar 125501 presence of banana plantations as far back as 200ad (way beforerepparttar 125502 birth of Scarlet OíHara). In 650 ad Islamic conquerors brought bananas back to Palestine and through trade spread them all over Africa. They were unknown torepparttar 125503 New World until 1516 whenrepparttar 125504 first root stocks were brought here by Spanish missionary, Father Tomas de Berlanger.

So much for traveling. How do they grow? The whole matter is extremely confusing. The banana tree itself (even though it is not a tree but a giant plant) is by definition an herb. What is an herb? Without passing go or collecting $200,repparttar 125505 answer is a flowering plant with a fleshy, rather than woody, stem. Each stem consists of ten to fourteen hands, each carrying from eighteen to twenty bananas. The stem, however is a false one, formed by tightly wrapped overlapping leaves, resembling stalks of celery. The plant belongs torepparttar 125506 same family as lilies, orchids and palms andrepparttar 125507 fruit is a berry. By definition, a berry is a simple fruit having a skin surrounding one or more seeds in a fleshy pulp. A banana cut lengthwise will reveal very tiny black seeds within its center. Therefore, a banana is a fruit, herb, berry and plant all atrepparttar 125508 same time. The expression "going bananas" probably came into vogue duringrepparttar 125509 time all of these terms were being defined, donít you think?



Black Bear Chasing Kid Style

Written by Robin Shortt


Peddling as fast as my aching legs could move, I came to an abrupt stop. My shocked eyes followedrepparttar big black bear as it veered offrepparttar 125475 old brush road intorepparttar 125476 dark forest, just a few feet in front of me. It was early summer. A couple of friends of mine and myself had just finished a week end camping and fishing trip at one of our favorite lakes inrepparttar 125477 area, where we lived. As I can remember it was a very long bike ride, even for three 14 year old boys. The road we took to get there and back hadn't seen any traffic for a few years. It was a good bet we would run into something back there. Sure enough I did, my buddies missed out on allrepparttar 125478 excitement, they had trailed behind and missed out.

Since that time I've seen many a black bear inrepparttar 125479 Ontario Northland of Canada. Withrepparttar 125480 cancellation ofrepparttar 125481 annual spring black bear hunt, I expect to see many more of these magnificent animals. Forrepparttar 125482 tourists, this is good and bad news, forrepparttar 125483 Northern Ontario resident, just bad. Ontario has a growing black bear population that is one ofrepparttar 125484 largest inrepparttar 125485 world. The spring black bear hunt was cancelled in 1999 in a pre-election move. The thought was thatrepparttar 125486 government's decision would reducerepparttar 125487 number of orphaned cubs. The number of orphaned cubs in shelters rose. Residents now have to put up with nuisance bears. Too many for their liking. The tourists have good news because they will get a better chance at seeing one. Bad, because campers will need to keep a keen eye for nuisance bears. Now nuisance bear complaints arerepparttar 125488 norm. Some municipalities have now hired bear-control officers, but many municipalities cannot afford this. Without trained staff, municipalities must rely on law enforcement officers, with no background in bear management, to respond to nuisance bear complaints. One dayrepparttar 125489 Ontario government will come to their senses and bring backrepparttar 125490 spring Black Bear hunt again.

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