You may have noticed, or even brought those bananas you see in the supermarket with the red tips. At first I though the red tip was there to appeal to kids, I then started to wonder if it was because they were organic bananas. However I was wrong, they are actually Ecoganic bananas.
Ecoganic is a very new concept to me, and probably to most. We hear a lot about organic farming but not much, if anything about Ecoganics. From what I have learnt so far I think Ecoganic is possibly a better option to organic. Ecoganics controls pests by using other more beneficial insects, which creates a balanced ecosystem. Another food source can also be provided for pest insects to prevent them from destroying the crop. It's about working in harmony with the environment instead of fighting against it.
Both commercial and organic farming spray and inject the bananas with insecticides to kill pests. The difference is that organic farming must use an organically approved chemical. Pacific Coast Eco Bananas do not use any of these methods.
Now I won't attempt to put the following information in my own words, as I might get something wrong. As stated by Dianne from Pacific Coast Eco Bananas:
1. We use a strip that is stapled above the bunch (it lets off a chemical pheromone) which helps to hold off most insect pests ( scab moth and red spider).
2. We have a very high population of ants which travel up to the bunch and eat the scab larvae and large populations of geotroupidea beetle (looks a bit like a lady beetle which attacks the (red spider) mites. The ants and beetles are there because we use no insecticides, nematicides or miticides on the soil. (These are all chemicals that kill living organisms.
3. The final practice is putting up the banana bunch cover much quicker than industry or organics does. Industry may take up to 4 weeks to prune and bag the bunch because it has been protected by a product (synthetic or organic pesticide). In Ecoganic farming we need to bag within 3 day of the purple banana bell emerging and the fingers beginning to open.
Pacific Coast Eco Bananas work with the environment, not against it. Which to me makes sense. How did humans survive before the pest control methods we use now; whether organic or not? There must be other, more healthier ways. I think Ecoganic farming may just be the way we can protect the environment and produce healthy chemical free food. So lets support these farmers so we can see more Ecoganic products available.
Pacific Coast Eco Bananas are available at Woolworths and some Coles stores. For more information visit http://www.eco-banana.com.au/