Monday, January 30, 2006

Peeling away the truth

Has it ever occurred to you that there was another way to peel a banana? You go from the top end, bending the stem until the rind breaks, and peel down, right? Simple. Isn't that how everyone does it? I have never once looked at a banana and questioned whether or not I was peeling it the right way.

Now my world has been rocked, thanks to Mis Hooz and an article she submitted from the Fried Rice Thoughts New York bureau. It's an old story (running in Slate back in 2002), but I hadn't seen or heard of it before. (Some of you may have, as it was mentioned on Boing Boing a week or so ago.)

Apparently, this is how monkeys peel bananas. And one might think they know what they're doing when it comes to bananas. However, they also pick their own asses and fling their $#!+ around - often in full view of the public, if they're on exhibit at the zoo. Some homeless people do that, too, and I wouldn't seek advice from them on how to eat food.

Is this method more efficient? The article mentions that those "stringy things" that we often have to peel from the bananas after we've skinned them tend to stick to the rind when peeled from the bottom. However, it's also argued that eating from the stem end saves time, as the bottom end is the one most typically bruised, and we can just toss that part out after we've eaten down to it. If we ate from the bottom, we'd have to deal with the bruise right away.

Of course, we're just talking about seconds, aren't we? (But in my more pokey moments, I'm sure I've spent minutes dealing with the "stringy things.") And I'm not really in a rush when putting bananas in my morning bowl of oatmeal. However, when I am pressed for time, a banana is a quick, easy breakfast, and I'm sure I've nearly caused auto accidents when trying to shake one of the "stringy things" off my hand while driving.

But let me get back to my original point, which is shaking up conventional wisdom and looking at things in an another way? What else could we do differently, what else have we possibly been doing wrong? What if we should really be eating sandwiches with the bread in the middle and the meat on the outside? Are we meant to put on our socks before our underwear and pants?

This could change everything.