The Bananas with an Edible Peel; Retail Food Inflation is Small

The Bananas with an Edible Peel; Retail Food Inflation is Small

AA3Bananas are always right at the top in surveys listing favorite fruits to eat. But now you can eat the banana peel – at least in Japan….Also, only a moderate increase in food prices is seen this year in the U.S.

Edibile Banana Peel

by Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News

The brainchild of food scientists at a farm in Western Japan, the eat-it-all Mongee (pronounced mon-gay) banana derives from a frigid growing environment.

“Typically bananas only grow in tropical climates, but D&T Farms uses a method called ‘Freeze Thaw Awakening,’”

Mongee banana trees grow at -76 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, they’re thawed and replanted. As a result, fruit grows rapidly and are left with a lettuce-like skin.

The designer banana, reports, is “sweeter than regular bananas, with 24.8 grams of sugar, as opposed to the average 18.3 grams.

Retail Food Prices

Retail food prices will rise between 1 and 2 percent in 2018 after dropping 0.2 percent in 2017, predicts the USDA.

The USDA’s January 25 food price outlook report said retail food price inflation has been lower than average because of a stronger U.S. dollar which makes imported foods cheaper.

A high dollar also dampens U.S. exports, which increases domestic supply of food and put pressure on prices. Moderate increases in energy costs and shrinking retailer margins in 2017 may have held down food prices, according to the USDA.

For 2017, the report said retail prices for fresh fruits fell 1.1 percent from November to December but are up 2.1 percent compared with December 2016.

While banana prices rose in December, citrus prices dropped 6.1 percent and apple prices were 2.4 percent lower than in November. The USDA said fresh fruit prices rose 0.5 percent in 2017. For 2018, fresh fruit prices may rise 3 to 4 percent.

Fresh vegetable prices increased 1.3 percent from November to December,  and were 3.5 percent higher than in December 2016. For all of 2017, fresh vegetable prices decreased 0.1 percent. For 2018, fresh vegetable prices are expected to change between -0.5 to 0.5 percent.