Bananas... they’re portable, sweet and packed with novelty value. The humble banana has been a lunchbox staple for decades but we bin around 1.4m of these bendy fruits every day in the UK. That’s a whole lot more than a bunch, and a sorry end to a journey that may have started as far away as Costa Rica or the Philippines. 

Food for thought

Transporting, storing and cooking food uses lots of energy. If we tackled food waste in the UK, it would have the equivalent benefit of taking one in four cars off the road. So if you’re browned off by the bruised bananas in your fruit bowl, try out these five tips and make the most of bananas that may look past their best. Remember, beauty is only banana skin deep!  

Got green bananas?

1) Put under-ripe bananas next to ripe fruit

Are your bananas a little green around the gills? Don’t let that put you off. If you want to speed up the ripening process, put them in a fruit bowl with other ripe fruit (such as other ripe bananas), or wrap in a brown paper bag. For double quick ripening, add a piece of ripe fruit to the paper bag. Phew!  

And once they're ripe?

2) Separate them from the bunch

Separating bananas from the bunch will also keep them from ripening quickly, as will popping ripe bananas in the fridge. The skin may darken but the fruit inside will stay mellow yellow.   

3) Store with under-ripe fruit

Storing ripe bananas with underripe fruit such as an avocado with not only slow down the banana, but speed up the avocado ripening. Who knew?  

4) Freeze them 

Got a rapidly ripening banana in your fruit bowl but don’t have time to use it that day? Our #FoodSavvy secret is to peel and freeze ripe bananas until you’re ready to use them.

5) Cook with them

The browner the banana, the more natural sugar it contains, making it a perfect ingredient for healthier treats. Check out our recipe selection here:

Made any of these banana saving bakes? We'd love to see them. Post a picture of what you make and tag #BananaDrama.

How green are bananas?

Although bananas travel thousands of miles to arrive on our supermarket shelves, their eco-credentials are not too shabby. They are grown in natural sunlight, which is kinder on the planet than energy-intensive hot housing, and are normally shipped rather than flown. Also their sturdy skin means bananas need little or no packaging. Just make sure to seek out Fairtrade or organic bunches whenever you can.    

Find out more about our #BananaDrama campaign, run in partnership with our Food Savvy partners at Norfolk and Suffolk councils.