Recent studies from the CGIAR agricultural partnership, highlighted by BBC News suggests how Banana’s may well have to replace the Potato as a staple in some developing countries!
The Potato requires a colder climate to thrive, whereas the Banana flourishes in a warmer ambient temperature, meaning despite the humble Potato and Banana sharing many things in common, the climate changes we are witnessing may well place far more emphasis on the active cultivation of banana crops compared to potatoes. This may well be the only way to meet nutritional demands in years to come.
Banana’s and Potatoes are both rich sources of Potassium which is important in cellular messaging and maintaining the normal functioning of your heart i.e. generating action potentials enabling your heart to beat, potassium is also key to maintaining fluid balance in the body. They both contain B vitamins, in particular vitamin B6, which is integral to many enzymatic reactions involved in maintaining our DNA, right the way through to protein synthesis and muscular development. Bananas and Potatoes deliver carbohydrates (although unlike Potatoes, Banana’s are not starch based) and insoluble fibre i.e. the type that doesn’t mix well with water and therefore gets everything moving! You also get your fair share of vitamin C from both of these with an average 150g Potato providing approx 16mg (around 25% of RDA) and an average 7 inch Banana (that’s male and not female inches btw) delivering approx 10mg of vitamin C!
Other substitutes to Potatoes could include Casava (which can basically grow anywhere) and Cowpeas, aka poor man’s meat, which appears to be very resilient to any climate.