nanners.

Most friends and acquaintances of mine know I dislike bananas. I have had an aversion to them ever since I was a wee lad. To combat the illnesses I had had, my mother decided to provide me with a very delectable diet of ginger ale, crackers, and bananas. I stomached the ginger ale, but it became a beverage I rarely consumed when my thirst became untameable. In the recent years, ginger ale has returned to my drink repertoire. If it’s a selection of sodas at a party or at my girlfriend’s grandmother’s abode, I will opt for Canada Dry or Vernor’s.

Bananas, on the other hand, have remained on my “don’t eat” list, which is quite small, to be fair. For some reason, I never enjoyed the taste when I was sick. I never could enjoy the strong smell as a child, and I associated the food with being gravely ill, with vomiting and stomachaches (not to mention diarrhea).  Each time I could catch the smell as I grew from elementary school to high school, the hunger pains I had would faintly dissipate. I would not go near banana bread, banana splits, banana-flavored Runts. While working for a catering company, we were given some leftover wedding cake after one particular reception. A few bites into it, and I knew something was wrong with it. It tasted not like vanilla or lemon, or some other delightful wedding-cake flavor. There were pieces of something, a fruit. Yes, one of the layers of the cake was banana. I ran to a garbage can and spit out all the cake I had been chewing, and I threw the remaining piece of cake on my plate after it.

Smoothies be damned, at least those that MUST put bananas as one of the mix-ins. Don’t people realize that some individuals are allergic to the fruit? It would be better off telling people that I’m allergic to bananas, not that I have an aversion to them. Or it would be nice if I were truly allergic. And as you can tell from the wedding cake incident – my most recent attempt to try them – the bad taste hasn’t changed for me. I will not allow bananas into me.

One of the most common replies to my declaration that I do not like bananas (apart from “WHY?”) is: “But where do you get your potassium?” A few years ago I did some research online to see which foods provided equal or more potassium than a single banana. The information I found was surprising; a lot of the foods I really like have a large amount of potassium in them depending on the serving. I have provided a collection of these for you now. You can easily find this information online – so I won’t cite. Whatever. If you do a Google search, these websites will be first on the list anyway.

One large banana contains about 487mg of potassium. Nice, right? But, here are some other healthy alternatives:

  • Baked potato, with skin, 1 medium (844mg). (A sweet potato has even more!)
  • Avocado, 1/2 medium (742mg)
  • White beans, canned, 1/2 cup (595mg)
  • Yogurt, fat-free, plain, 8 oz (579mg)
  • Tomato juice, 1 cup (535mg)
  • Orange juice, fresh, 1 cup (496mg)
  • Cantaloupe, diced, 1 cup (482mg)

And on another site, more food with a high level of potassium (more than 225 mg. per 1/2 cup serving):

All meats, poultry and fish are high in potassium. 

Apricots (fresh more so than canned) 

Avocado 

Banana 

Cantaloupe 

Honeydew 

Kiwi 

Lima beans 

Milk 

Oranges and orange juice 

Potatoes 

Prunes 

Spinach 

Tomatoes 

Vegetable juice 

Winter squash 

So, yes, I am getting enough potassium without bananas!