Is Bigger Banana Better

2010/05/05 by Lassi A. Liikkanen

Is Bigger Banana Better?

No, but thicker are. I eat lot of bananas. If I consume one piece everyday, my guess is that I end up munching almost 50 kilos of banana each year! As much as enjoy bananas, particularly the ripe with nuts and raisins, I started to wonder if I'm really optimizing my fruit acquisition. I know that I'm throwing away a substantial amount of biomass in banana peels. Given that I want to get the most banana for my buck, I decided to investigate is bigger banana really better or at least more economic buy. I found out that yes, bigger is better, but particularly you should buy thick bananas. This is because the thickness of peel seems to be quite independent of the size of the content.

The study

I decided to check which size parameters would give the most favorable peel-content ratio. I bought different sized bananas of the same variety. I started by measuring the bananas and then I cut off the “tail” off all specimens and weighted them before and after peeling. Then I calculated the ratio of the peel and the content. I was mostly interested to know what effects the effective price ratio, that is the amount of banana you really get for your money. For this number, bigger really is better and the maximum score would be 1 = all eatable!


First I tried to match the banana length to the price ratio, but things did not look very convincing. I knew something was wrong and so, after four months of procrastination, I decided to check the circumference to price ratio. Suddenly things looked better (although not perfect)


My interpretation of the subjects, which eventually got eaten, is that the length of the banana does not guarantee you an optimal effective price ratio. Instead, you should look for diameter or circumference which suggests that there will be more bangnana for your buck!

As a disclaimer, I think all of this sounds pretty stupid to anyone with some understanding of basic math, as bananas are quite simple objects whose volume could be simply calculated. Assuming that the peel thickness is constant, internal volume and the effective price ratio should benefit from larger radius of the banana (after reducing the tips). However, I decided to things the hard way and get the (noisy) data empirically. Here you are, go get that thick banana!

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Keywords: [food] , [critical_consumer] Document's status: Ok (Document dates explained)

This document created: 2010/05/05
Modified: 2010/05/05
Published: 2010/05/05

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