OUR obsession with perfection is resulting in the destruction of one-third of Queensland's annual banana crop, because the fruit is deemed too straight, too small or not yellow enough for us to buy.
Each year, 100,000 tonnes of bananas considered substandard are chopped up and spread back over banana plantations as fertiliser. The major supermarkets Woolworths and Coles — which buy 70 per cent of Australian bananas — reject fruit that is the wrong size, an imperfect shape or discoloured.
Queensland Government researchers are now investigating alternative food uses for the rejected bananas, in a bid to boost the value of the $410 million industry as a whole. Prepackaged sliced banana, banana flour and freezing whole peeled bananas for juice bars are all being considered.
The Australian Banana Growers Council said bananas must meet very particular length, girth and colour specifications before Woolworths and Coles will take them.
"Their product specifications are fairly well defined," Growers Council chief executive Tony Heidrich said.
"If you want to get your fruit into the supermarkets, you have to meet those standards."
I wonder how many were rejected a few years ago when bananas were over $10 a kilo after the hurricane. Surely the Supermarkets could price accordingly.