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Banana Que

Page history last edited by ecop 11 years, 6 months ago


Banana Cue - An Unhealthy Popular Filipino Street Food to a Healthy One

<optional>By: Yoo - Kyum, Chung 





Description and Rationale


Banana Cue – Unhealthy Popular Filipino Street Food

Banana cue, also spelled as banana-que, is a popular Filipino street food. Its sweetness and the fact that it is fried catch the Filipinos’ attention. Its cheapness, costing between five pesos and fifteen pesos, also makes people buy it and also because its way of eating is easy.


What impact does the banana cue have on the lives of the Filipino people? Is it healthy or unhealthy? Do they think it’s healthy because banana is known as an energizer among the fruits? How clean can it be, sold on the streets where dust, flies, and smoke permeate the air? Does it have an effect on the banana cues? Do they know if the banana cues are cooked on reused vegetable oil which may not be healthy? If they do, do they mind? Are they even aware of the bad effects of fried foods? According to Healthy Living Answers website, fried food is bad because of Trans fat in the oil. It has a negative effect on cholesterol levels by not removing cholesterol and may lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Likewise, too much sugar is bad for the health. They affect the skin, joints, nails, hair, and other range of health problems. It may also cause dental cavities.


Would there be a healthier way to make banana cues? Bananas have a lot of benefits when you eat them but why doesn’t it show when it’s made in banana cues? Bananas are commonly used during diet buy why do people gain weight when they eat banana cue? Is it just because of the sugar and oil that make people gain weight? Bananas are known as a source of energy. What would be the best way to make the bananas to have an effect on people? The problem is in the frying and the addition of sugar. Vendors aren’t conscious about using healthy oil. Also, too much sugar can cause a lot of problems – from cavities to weight gain.


The initial purpose of this project is to find a healthier way to cook banana cue and of course within the limitations for the poor people, by researching on the Internet. Also by interviewing people about how they think, what they think they should do, and asking them how the taste of a healthier banana cue tastes. These initial findings will help guide the experimental phase.


It is hoped to find a way to make healthier banana cues for the sake of the people through a more informed understanding of an abundant biological resource.


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Common Names and Synonyms

Cardaba banana is also called the Musa saba. In English, it is known as Sweet Plantain, and Papaya Banana. Other synonyms include Saba (Philippines); Pisang Kepok (Indonesia); Pisang Nepah (Malaysia); and Kluai Hin (Thailand). The word banana itself might have come from the Arabic banan, which means “finger”.




Kingdom:    Plantae - the taxonomic kingdom comprising all living or extinct plants

Phylum:     Angiosperms - a plant whose ovules are enclosed in an ovary; a

                          flowering plant

Class:       Monocots - a monocotyledonous flowering plant; the stem grows by

                       deposits on its inside

Order:       Zingiberales - an order of monocotyledonous herbs or scarcely

                          branch shrubs in the subclass Commelinidae

Family:      Musaceae - treelike tropical Asian herbs

Genus:      Musa - type genus of the Musaceae: bananas

Species:     M. saba - a plant that is common in the Philippines; the fruit is a

                      cooking banana


There are many types of banana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific names Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiacaare no longer used. 



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Morphology and Physical Description





The Saba (banana) tree is very large and sturdy. It can grow to 25 feet and is very tolerant of cold and resistant to wind. The trunk can be as thick as 24 inches. Its leaves are dark green, and the banana is green skinned or green verging toward yellow. This plant is often grown for shade. The Saba plant’s pseudo stem is robust and grows taller than the dessert cultivars, producing about 8 suckers per mat at harvest. Its fruit, however, has a longer gestation period at 150 to 180 days after flowering. The plant’s potential yield is 26 to 28 kg per bunch with one bunch containing up to 16 hands, each hand having 12 to 20 fingers.




Saba is a large, angular banana that has a sweet, starchy flesh that is ideal for cooking. However, the Saba does not have to be cooked, it can be eaten raw.The fruit inside is a bit yellowish white. One banana or finger is 8 to 13 cm long and 2.5 to 5.5 cm in diameter. Bananas provide potassium, calcium, carotene, vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. Bananas also have a chromium content that functions in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.





Fertility of soil is very important for successful cultivation, as banana is a heavy feeder. Depth and drainage are the two most important considerations in selecting the soil for banana. The soil suitable for banana should be 0.51m in depth, rich, well drained, fertile, moisture retentive, containing plenty of organic matter. Alluvial and volcanic soils are the best for banana cultivation. Cagayan Valley is known for not only growing good rice but also growing good crop of banana.


Water is also important to bananas. Since the huge leaves of banana trees evaporate a lot, they need a lot of water and high humidity. The range of Ph should be 6.9 to 7.5. Bananas are tropical plants that require a warm and humid climate. It does not like the extreme heat or the cold weather. However, it can be grown from sea level to all altitudes of 1200 meters. It can be cultivated in a temperature range of 10°C and 40°C with high humidity.



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Bananas reproduce sexually by flower, fruit and seed formation and asexually or vegetative by ‘suckers’ or 'plantlets' formation. Reproducing asexually is more common and all commercial crops of banana are grown by this method only. These edible varieties are seedless or they have tiny seeds that are not effective at all. While the original bananas contain large seeds, seedless cultivars have been selected for human consumption. These are propagated asexually from branch of the plant. The plant is allowed to produce 2 shoots at a time; a larger one for fruiting immediately, and a smaller "sucker" or "follower" that will produce fruit in 6–8 months time. Banana plants live from about 8 to 10 years.



Environmental Factors

There are several disease organisms that may use the Saba as a host. These include fruit scarring beetles, banana thrips, mealy bug, banana aphids, corm weevil, borers, root nematodes, and grasshoppers. The Panama disease, also known as Fusarium wilt of banana, is one of the most notorious of all plant disease. The banana bunchy top virus is considered to be the most economically destructive among the virus diseases affecting bananas around the world.



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Origin and Distribution


The bananas are originally from Southeast Asia, from the countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Bananas are one of the main products that Philippine produces (native in the Philippines). Instead of coming to the Philippines, the bananas travelled throughout the world to places like Africa, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, and Latin American countries from the Philippines. The first European people to hear about bananas were the armies of Alexander the Great. 



Importance to People

Bananas are rich in carbohydrates, vitamin A, phosphorus, potassium, and natural sugars. Potassium helps the circulatory system by giving oxygen to the brain. It has natural sugars that give natural energy, which also gives the sweet taste of bananas. Health benefits of bananas are that they also have iron that promotes hemoglobin production for blood clotting, fibers that promote, restore, and maintain regular bowel movement. In addition to banana health benefits, they can also help you with your mind (brainpower). They are also good for pregnant women to combat their morning sickness, and people trying to quit smoking. Bananas are also good for soothing ulcers by helping reduce acidity that some foods can leave in the stomach. The banana peels are used for treating warts and mosquito bites by rubbing it to the surface of your skin.



Survivability and Endangered Status

Bananas originated in tropical regions and thrive in the humid tropics. Cultivation in subtropical regions has several constraints like droughts, poor irrigation water, seasonal temperature variations, and winds. They have low tolerance to difficult conditions in the subtropics.


Although there’s no danger of complete extinction, bananas can become unviable for large-scale cultivation in the next 10 to 20 years. Like all kinds of bananas, they don’t have genetic diversity, making them more likely to get infected with diseases. Because of that commercial cultivation and small-scale cultivation, farming is threatened.




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Potential Solutions

Is there a healthier way of cooking banana cues? There haven’t been any attempts to change the way Filipinos cook banana cues. Further research and field studies on the preferences of people, the cost of using healthier ingredients, and people’s consciousness about their health are needed to address the challenge about banana cues. There seem to be several promising opportunities that may be able to benefit the people who earn livelihood with bananas. Below are three possibilities with an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages for each. Along with each possibility is a current status report of progress made to date on each of the possibilities.


Possibility 1





Brazilian Researchers from Biosciences Institute have found the most effective method for treating impure water by using banana peel. It’s very effective in binding lead and copper in river water. These two metals cause water born diseases and can even damage liver, stomach, and brain.




  1. Poor families are getting more accessible and cheap ways of getting clean water supply. Since bananas are so abundant in the Philippines, many Filipinos can easily get hold of them. Also, the peels are generally thrown away. So it doesn't cost anything at all. It can be reused ten times over and over.  

  2. It is found that banana peels have higher extraction capacity than other similar materials constructed under chemical reactions. They are effective to reduce greatly the metal content in water, because the metals bind to the peels. 




  1. Unlike silica, alumina, and cellulose, banana peels are more expensive and form some toxic residues when prepared chemically. 

  2. Researchers are not yet sure if bananas found in different areas have the same effect as they had in a laboratory setting. It may remove lead and copper from the water but may not remove other toxic metals. 



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Possibility 2



Nowadays, the internet abounds with advices in using bananas and banana peels as home remedy and beauty care.



  1. Banana peels are organic, and they contain antioxidants like lutein and plenty of potassium.

  2. Banana peels help psoriasis, heals acnes and warts, and takes the bite out of poison ivy, by simply rubbing the inside of the banana peel on the affected area. More people feel secure in using them because it is edible and it is known as an energy source to them. 




  1. It is really not scientifically proven that the peel cures skin problems. It may have worked for some people but not all. Others consider it as a medical or "beauty myth." 

  2. It is also not proven that just because it's natural that it's effective for everybody. Many people have very sensitive skin, and they need extra care in anything that they apply to their skin. 



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Possibility 3



Finding a healthier alternative of cooking banana cues is important, because it could reduce its bad effects on the body. Instead of using sugar as a sweetening agent, I would simply fry the bananas in canola oil. Then I will ask ten Filipinos to eat it and ask what they think about it.




  1. It is healthier. Though it is fried, the non-use of sugar provides a healthier option because the chances of obesity and tooth decay among others are avoided.

  2. Banana cues made without sugar may not be as sweet as the ones made with sugar but it's still sweet enough, because it contains natural sugar. 




  1. Many Filipinos may not like the taste since they are sued to the sweet taste of banana cues. However, over time, they will be used to the taste and it may become popular, since it is also a healthier banana cue. 

  2. There could be additional cost in using canola oil instead of using vegetable oil. Many people won't be willing to spend extra money for it. 



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l"Saba Banana." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 10 May 2011.             http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saba_banana

l"Banana." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 10 May 2011.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana

l"Musa Saba - Bananas Wiki." Bananas.org - International Banana Society. Web. 10 May 2011.  


l"Guide for Saba (Cardaba) Banana Production » EntrePinoys Atbp." EntrePinoys Atbp. - Business    Opportunities. Investments. Livelihood Resources. Web. 10 May 2011.


l"Growing Bananas - How To Grow Banana Plants And Keep Them Happy." Tropical Permaculture  Gardens: Growing Fruits And Vegetables The Easy Way. Web. 10 May 2011.


l"Banana." UNCTAD.ORG Home. Web. 10 May  2011.


l"Banana_bunchy_top_virus | 2can Support Portal | EBI." European Bioinformatics Institute |    Homepage | EBI. Web. 15 May 2011.


l"Panama Disease: A Classic and Destructive Disease of Banana." Plant Management Network. Web.  15 May 2011.


l"Banana Peel Can Clean Contaminated Water | ScientiaWeb." ScientiaWeb - Latest Science &  Technology News for Everyone. Web. 15 May 2011.


l"10 Commandments Art for Textbooks. FREE ; [teens] FREE 10 Commandments Text Book Cover  Art." HISways USA, Inc. INTRODUCTION ! Web. 15 May 2011.


lSteinbach, Diane. "How to Use Banana Peel For Skin Care | EHow.com." EHow | How to Videos,  Articles & More - Trusted Advice for the Curious Life | EHow.com. Web. 15 May 2011.


lImy Fragata, Ate. “Interview.” Yoo - Kyum, Chung. Interview. May 14, 2011.



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