Copyright © 2004 DayOne Publishing. All rights reserved.
If you’re like most people, you’ve never thought about how to eat a banana. You just ate it. Basically, you peel it, toss the peel, eat the inside stuff and hope you don’t slip on the peel later.
In the CAMP system, though, we never take any food for granted. The CAMP philosophy sees all foods as great gifts of energy, effort and sacrifice. A banana is no exception.
By paying attention as we eat the banana, we honor the energy and effort of the banana plant and all the people and equipment it took to bring the banana to us.
Eating the Banana
For this CAMP experience, you’ll need a banana, a plate, a knife and a fork or toothpick. If you’re reading this at a computer, go and get those items and then return.In the CAMP system, we eat all foods very mindfully, aware of each bite and the gifts it brings. The following steps will show you how mindfulness can be used to enjoy a banana.
1. Before you actually eat the banana, take moment to look carefully at it. Notice its shape, color, markings, contours, textures. If the banana is not ripe, it will be greenish. An older banana will have brown splotches on the skin. Feel the weight of the banana in your hand--the weight is due to the water content of the banana. Consider these facts relating to your banana:
as shipped to the store where you bought it.
- It grew on a plant that has to be propped up to prevent it from falling over.
- Your banana took 8-10 months to grow.
- It was cut and carried by hand.
- It was separated from other bananas by hand in a packing shed.
- It was washed in a large tank of moving fresh water.
- It was packed for shipping in a 40-pound corrugated box.
- It was padded with plastic film and paperboard to protect it from bruising.
- It was transported into a refrigerated truck-sized contained and driven to a port, where is it was loaded onto a container ship. All of the above happened within two days of the banana being cut from the plant.
- During the long boat ride, your banana was kept at 58 degrees Fahrenheit and was monitored closely.
- After arriving at its destination port, your banana spent anywhere from four to eight days in a ripening room, where temperature and humidity are carefully controlled and ethylene gas is used to speed up the ripening.
- When your banana was greenish yellow, it was shipped to the store where you bought it.
2. Don’t peel the banana; instead, use the knife to cut off one end. Cut off about ¼ of your banana. In the CAMP way of thinking, it’s far better to throw some food away than to eat more than we need. Throwing away part of your banana is one way to get used to the idea of not eating all the food available. If you find yourself thinking that it’s wasteful to throw away food, that’s normal. Go ahead and throw away your ¼ of the banana anyway.
3. Now peel the remaining part of the banana. Discard the skin.
4. Use your knife to cut your banana into 15 - 20 pieces.
5. Before eating any of it, spend a moment looking at the cut-up banana, the pieces just waiting there for you to enjoy. Put your nose close to the banana and take a good whiff of banana aroma.
6. Eat the banana pieces one at a time. It may be easier for you to use the fork or the toothpick to pick up the banana pieces.
7. Eat each piece slowly, carefully, completely. Don’t put a piece of banana in your mouth until you’re completely done with the one you’re chewing.8. During the eating of each piece, bring your mind to some aspect of the food. Here are some suggestions of what you can think about with each piece of banana:
- notice the texture and how it changes as you chew
- focus on the sweetness of the banana
- enjoy the creaminess of the banana
- pay attention to the movements of your teeth, lips and tongue as you eat the banana
- notice if the taste of the banana piece is any different in different parts of your mouth
- think about the energy in the banana and how that energy originally came from the sun
- imagine the effort it took to harvest your banana
- see the person who make the box or carton used to package the banana
- follow the movement of the banana from the tropics to your state
- see the truck driver who drove the truck carrying your banana
- see the person at the market as he or she handled the banana and placed in on display
- imagine what kind of effort you would have to exert if you had to all the steps yourself: plant the banana, harvest it, package it and transport it before you could even consider eating it
9. Take your time with each bite. Pause after each bite to enhance the wonderful experience of eating a banana.
Balance and Harmony
How enlightening! Its a great way to incorporate feeling
love towards mankind for their efforts to deliver such a tasty creamy natural treat. Thanks for this wonderful information, its very much needed in the day and age where everything moves way too fast.
---Joy, in L.A.
Eating a banana will never be the same for me. Thank you
for pointing out how much I have been taking having such wonderful food to eat
---Sandy, in Rice Lake