Ecoganic farming method: Australian banana grower Frank Sciacca on the meaning behind the red tip on bananas
A farmer has revealed the hidden meaning behind the red-tipped bananas.
The red wax indicates the bananas are grown using the Ecoganic farming method so they are free of harmful pesticides.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: What the little-known codes on fruit stickers mean
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The bananas are dipped in a bright red food grade wax to let shoppers know they are different from every other variety.
Established in 1998 by Australian banana growers Frank and Dianne Sciacca, the farming method uses the natural ecosystem to sustainably grow sweet and creamy fruits as nature intended.
“When you see the red wax tip on bananas, you can know that they have been farmed in harmony with nature,” Frank said.
“Nature has developed over hundreds of thousands of years to keep things in balance. Rather than rely on chemicals, we choose to harness everything nature gives us to grow our bananas slowly and with respect.
“This respect shows up in the product and you can taste the difference.”
Rather than relying on chemicals, both synthetic and organic, the method employs all of nature’s creatures on the farm to grow bananas slowly, carefully and sustainably.
Traditional farming uses chemicals that sterilise the soil and kill insects, leaving the crop dependent on synthetic fertilisers for its source of nutrition.
The practice can have a negative impact on the soil, organisms, insects, birds, larger wildlife and the waterways.
“We wanted to farm differently, with nature at the heart of what we do,” Frank explained.
“Nature keeps everything in balance, and understanding the natural capital you have available to you enables you to get rid of all the harmful chemicals.
“The result is a farming method that is good for the environment and at the same time produces far superior bananas.”
Testament to these unique farming methods, Red Tip are the only bananas endorsed by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Having grown up diving on the Great Barrier Reef, Frank witnessed the degradation of the Reef and the changes to the ecosystem.
He was inspired to develop a new way of farming – one that would help solve the imbalances created by conventional farming methods.
The use of products that had a minimal impact on the ecosystem but allowed continual ecological improvement if used correctly enabled Frank to start rebuilding and fortifying the soil to provide a thriving habitat.
What your fruit stickers mean
The bananas come just weeks after Joshua Bollom, from Sydney, revealed the little-known codes on fruit stickers.
The 25-year-old said the small four or five digit code discloses the exact location, whether it has been genetically modified and even what chemicals or pesticides were used in the growing process.
“I’m sure a lot of you eat fruit, and whenever you buy fruit, you always see these little stickers on them,” he said in a TikTok video.
“Well these little stickers actually tell you how the fruit is grown.”
Displaying an apple, lemon and an orange, Joshua uncovered how to crack the PLU (price look up) code – a universal coding system – on each fresh item in your home.
“These numbers mean different things, so a four digit number means it’s been grown with pesticides, and a five digit number that starts with eight usually means it’s genetically modified (GMO).
“A five-digit number starting with nine usually means it’s certified organic.”
However when it comes to GMO produce, Aussies are safe in this department with all GMO fruit and vegetables being banned from being grown and imported.
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