There have been numerous times when a banana is my portable fruit of choice. It's super simple to carry around (unlike strawberries which turn into actual mush in my bag) and are filled with a bunch of nutrients perfect to jump start my day.
It seems like the perfect breakfast - that is until you realize you have no where to put the banana peel. Slimy and gunky the peel is the least appetizing part of a banana. And don't get me started with finding a rotten banana skin in the bottom of a forgotten backpack or school locker. You practically have to fumigate the whole thing!
The Mongee Banana
Farmers from Japan on the other hand have developed a banana you can eat, peel and all. Called Mongee bananas (pronounced "mon-gay"), these bananas may look like a normal banana, however the skin is green with a leaf-like texture, essentially creating a bananas with edible peels.
Surprisingly, these bananas are not genetically modified but rather get their characteristic skin from the growing process honed by D&T Farm, an agricultural research company. Regular banana trees are planted in temperatures of about minus 75 degrees Fahrenheit then thawed and replanted during a process described as the freeze-thawing awakening method. The plant then wakes up and grows a fast fruit with a truly edible peel.
The peel itself is rather tasteless, according to people who have gotten the chance to taste the fruit. And don't think that the peel is thick like normal bananas. Instead the peel has the texture of a thin piece of lettuce.
As a way to eliminate food waste, this edible skin banana is not only delicious but said to help with depression and provide a good amount of dietary fiber. The farmers over at D&T agree that the new bananas possess an excellent source of health benefits like vitamin B6, magnesium and even tryptophan (you know, the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy).
The bananas are currently only available at the department store Tenmaya Okayama for about $5.75 each. The store gets about 10 bananas a week, so there's no saying whether it will be in stock or not.