Tally Me Banana

A remarkable fruit, by the numbers

CHRIS RYAN/GETTY IMAGES

26.2 pounds

the amount of bananas an average American eats annually, more than any other fruit (apples are second, with 16.7 pounds)

20 million

people worldwide depend on bananas as their main source of nutrition.

The banana is the world’s largest herb. The fruit is actually a berry.

India produces 20 percent of the world’s bananas — 17 million tons — and has 670 types of the fruit.

10,000

The average number of bananas the typical 40-year-old American has eaten.

$4 billion

Annual global exports; 85 percent of bananas are eaten locally.

15,000 years

The amount of time humans have been cultivating bananas. That’s 5 millennia longer than cows have been domesticated.

550 pounds

the amount of bananas an average person in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi eats annually.

Bananas are the fourth-most important crop in the developing world — after rice, wheat, and corn — in terms of gross value of production.

SOURCES: THE AFRICAN AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION; THE FISH THAT ATE THE WHALE, BY RICH COHEN (FSG, 2012); BANANA: THE FATE OF THE FRUIT THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, BY DAN KOEPEL (HUDSON STREET PRESS, 2007)

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