Snacks and Bananas




I was thinking maybe I could produce something from my little farm to sell on the new online food marketing co-op thing, I could use a little supplement to my navy pension. Maybe some kind of cheese from my goat’s milk, but I have no idea how to make that. Anyway, that same day I read about a Manitoba business, started in somebodies kitchen, making healthy snack bars out of naturally grown stuff. I thought, aha, that wouldn’t require great cooking skills, I could do that (my specialty is Kraft dinner, I have over a hundred recipes, but I don’t think there is a market for that kind of cooking). So I googled up granola bars and fruit and nut bars, and as far as I could see almost anything goes.

I dug around in my freezer, found some cranberries from last fall, and some blueberries from last summer. I grow a bit of oats for the goats, naturally of course, maybe I could use some of that, maybe get some barley from my neighbour who is an actual farmer, maybe put in some Ontario maple syrup and some raisins and wild rice, this looks like something I could do.

So I had a bunch of stuff mixed up and cooking on the stove when in comes Joe, says he has his wood splitter going if I need any fuel. So I explained about my experiment on the stove. “I am trying to think of some kind of biodegradable but still natural packaging I could use to put the snack bars in”, I finished.

Joe says “Smells good, looks kind of thick”. Then he went on “anyway, you are way too late, nature already invented the perfect snack, ideal balance of nutrients so it seems designed to be people food, and it already comes in its own natural biodegradable package. It’s called a banana.”

“But that doesn’t help me, banana’s don’t grow real well here,” I exclaimed, “unless you are thinking I should put up a greenhouse. But my idea is to make a few bucks, not spend megabucks on a giant greenhouse!”

“Well, let me think”, says Joe, “bananas are a tropical plant. But so are potatoes. They found some potatoes growing on a mountain, much cooler up there even though still in the tropics. The ones we grow were developed from those mountain potatoes. Maybe somebody will find banana’s growing on a mountain. Or maybe we could develop a banana-flavoured potato, they are pretty well balanced for people food as well. If you had to survive on only one kind of plant, and couldn’t get bananas, you would be smart to choose potatoes.”

By now I see Joe is pulling my leg, so I reply “I used to be able to do that kind of plant breeding, but I am getting a bit rusty on my genetically modified biology skills. Might be easier to just put some banana-flavoured peanut butter on the potato”

Joe ignores that, and goes on “Banana’s have no seed, the only way they grow is if people plant slips. Being perfect people food, and completely dependent on people, I have to believe they were developed by a long-forgotten previous civilization. Or maybe by those aliens flying around in UFO’s, maybe you could flag one down and get a bit of plant-modifying advice”.

About then my pot boiled over, making a big cranberry-and-oats mess on the stove, and Joe excused himself.  Good thing, we were getting a bit silly there.  But I am still thinking about making snack bars

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