Edible Banana Skins Are A New Japanese Craze

Now that society is beginning to fully realize the drawbacks of food waste, change is on the horizon. Establishments are not only donating leftover food to the needy — science is playing its part in the whole thing. From apples that don’t brown, Japanese farmers have developed a banana that consumers can eat in its entirety. And yes, that includes the peel.

The [Mongee] bananas are made using a pesticide-free cultivation technique called “freeze thaw awakening”, which involves replicating a process observed in the Ice Age by keeping the fruits in temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

As a result, the bananas grow in less than half the time they normally would. Also, they taste much sweeter, an added bonus for sugar addicts avoiding health setbacks.

“The motivation for its development was the fact he (developer Setsuzo Tanaka) wanted to eat a banana that was delicious and safe: people can eat the peel because it is cultivated organically without chemicals.”

If you’re keen on munching on a Mongee banana outside of Japan, you’re well out of luck. They’re sold only in the Okayama Prefecture for about a cosmic $6 a piece. Now that’s bananas.

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3D-Printed Ears Help Hearing Impaired Kids

Implants are becoming a thing of the past, now that it’s possible to 3D-print anything from brain tissue to teeth. While some remain dubious about the technology, Chinese scientists may convince them to think on the contrary. A Chinese lab has successfully incorporated 3D-printing methods to regrow underdeveloped ears using the patients’ own cells.

The researchers created a 3D-printed replica of each child’s normal ear… but … reversed. This replica was then used to create a mold littered with tiny holes and made out of biodegradable material. The mold was filled in with precursor cartilage cells taken from the children’s deformed ear that were further grown in the lab.

The ears grow over a 12-week process and are more restorative than cosmetic. Chinese researchers haven’t yet trialled the use of stem cells, but progress incredibly fast, which means its potential shouldn’t be far off. Five children have since undergone the experimental procedure.

“It’s a very exciting approach,” [said] Tessa Hadlock, a reconstructive plastic surgeon…“They’ve shown that it is possible to get close to restoring the ear structure.”

We’ve come a long way with reconstructive surgeries, and might I say — it’s music to my ears.

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