Thursday, May 10, 2007

Going Bananas

Today on All Things Considered was letter day, and one of the letters was about a story last week about - you guessed it - carbon. Apparently they asked the question, "which is better, composting your banana peel, or putting it in the garbage disposal?" The response was that it doesn't matter because the carbon that is in the disintegrating banana was taken from the air in the first place. The letter-writer said that they should have thought outside the box and said, "neither" - that you shouldn't eat bananas because they're not grown locally and the amount of carbon used to transport them is very high. So I have two responses:
  1. Damn, I knew I was doing badly at my "eat local" goals when I tried that mango last week, but I really hadn't thought through bananas. Bananas are a staple at our house. J will only eat them when they're at the perfect ripeness but I like them in almost any condition - in cereal when under-ripe, on brown rice crackers with peanut butter when perfect, and in banana pancakes when they're past their prime. Mmmm. I'm not giving them up, even if they do get carted all the way from Guatemala. So much for my ideals.
  2. The fact that the carbon output of a banana is the same whether you stick it in the garbage disposal or in the compost pile isn't the only thing to consider, and I'm disappointed that they wouldn't have reported that of course it's better to compost it and re-use the remains than to stick it in a landfill (or in the Juan de Fuca Straight if you're in Victoria)

No comments: