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Behold, THE BANANA—green tipped with no more than a handful of brown flecks. Eat ’em fast. You won’t get more than 24 hours of this potassium perfection.
This sometimes frustrating fruit lasts anywhere from 2-7 days, and extending the life of my bananas is nearly impossible. I turned to Pinterest to see how others were doing it and, always a skeptic, decided to put the claims to the test.
Does Wrapping Banana Stems Really Stunt Ripening?
The theory here is super sciencey. Allow me to uncomplicate it: Bananas start out green and hard, right? On the tree, bananas ripen from the stem–the source of attachment and nutrition for the bunch. Once picked, the ripening process continues to come from the stem–the primary producer of ethylene gas emissions. Ethylene promotes maturation in most fruits, veggies and plants. (It’s what tells leaves to change color in the fall.)
By wrapping the stems in plastic wrap, I am attempting to reduce the invisible, odorless, ethylene gas from reaching the rest of the banana. By separating the bananas, I not only get a tighter seal, but I gain the convenience of being able to grab and go without disrupting a bunch that’s been sealed together.
The Control Sample and the Test Bunch
Finding two bunches of equal ripeness was no easy task at my supermarket.
The Experimental Stem-Wrapping
I separated and individually wrapped the stems of the test bunch then stored it apart from the control bunch.
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The Results After 5 Days
The two bunches were indistinguishable after five days. The control bunch and the experimental bunch were equally ripened. What went wrong?
The Failed Experiment
Only thing I can figure is maybe this only works on really green bananas. Maybe my bananas, wrapped at the peak of perfection, had already inhaled enough ethylene gas to guarantee speedy ripening
The About-to-Be-Banana Bread Bunch
Until I try again, I think I’ll wallow in a few loaves of banana bread. Give me an hour, then leave me a comment with more ideas on how to keep my bananas from browning so quickly!