return to index
Flesh Eating Bananas!
Recently there has been email reports of Costa Rican bananas containing a flesh eating disease. If you have arrived on this page to check on the validity of this email report, I can tell you here and now that it is yet another hoax. I will also refer you to Snopes to check up on all your urban myths/hoaxes.
The Great Banana Hoax
Way back in to 1960's a lot of young people were just discovering drugs, and were experimenting with anything they could find lying about to smoke to get a HIGH.. In 1966 LSD-25 was banned right across America and the masses were un-happy.
The great banana hoax took root in March 1967 when someone wrote to a Hippie paper in Berkeley, California called the Berkley Barb. They claimed that they smoked a banana peel and got high. The paper ran an article on it and explained that a new psychedelic had been discovered, one that anyone could lay their hands on, since the only ingredient was dried banana peels.
The method of smoking banana peel was as follows:
1. Peel the banana.
2. Scrape off the inner proportion (the white stuff on the inside).
3. Dry it out in the oven.
4. Roll into joint and smoke.
5. Get high and roll about.
It was claimed that the high you got was comparable to opium, with some nice psilocybin shadings. The news spread like wildfire, all the other hippie papers repeated the story. Soon the banana story was national, even Time & Newsweek wrote about it. Hippies and students were having banana smoke ins, grocery stores were inundated with scruffy hippies buying crates of bananas. Were bananas going to be banned as well? A congressman from one of the states jokingly introduced two new acts to Congress: the Banana Labelling Act of 1967 and the Banana and Other Odd Fruits Disclosure and reporting Act of 1967. But not everyone was laughing. United Fruit was very pissed and were asking officials to find out if bananas were really hallucinogenic, a question that the Food & Drug Administration also wanted answered.
Scientists got to work on the banana question and found that there are chemicals in the banana peels called serotonin and norepinephrine that are related to hallucinogens such as LSD, but not enough to get you high. It was also found that bananas are a good source of potassium and fibre. All the people who have smoked banana peels say it doesn't get them high and only gave them a headache.
The banana hoax had been started because you couldn't make bananas illegal. The only trip you can take with a banana is when you slip on the peel.
Go to Bananarchy for more revolutionary banana recipes
Return to Index