Several months ago, I purchased a bunch of organic bananas from my local food co-op. Two weeks later, my bananas had still not ripened, wreaking havoc on my breakfast schedule. I asked the grocery manager about this phenomenon, and have learned some critical information that must be shared.
Conventional bananas are sprayed with ethylene gas before being shipped out to retailers. This ensures they develop their bright yellow colour right when they hit the shelves. Organic bananas are not sprayed as much.
Two reasons are cited for this: (1) environmental concerns about ethylene spray; and (2) organic bananas are not sold as fast as conventional bananas, so there is less need for immediate ripening.
So how do you speed up organic banana ripening? Fruit naturally gives off its own ethylene gas, so putting your bananas in a sealed plastic bag along with other fruit (bananas, tomatos, etc.) should do the trick. Breakfast should be back to normal in no time.
Part 1 of an ongoing series on bananas.