Ecological cultivation method: Australian banana grower Frank Sciacca on the meaning of the red tip on bananas

A farmer has revealed the hidden meaning behind red-tipped bananas.

The red wax indicates that the bananas are grown using the Ecoganic cultivation method, so they are free from harmful pesticides.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: What the Little-Known Codes on Fruit Stickers Mean

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The bananas are dipped in a bright red, food-grade wax to let shoppers know they’re different from all other varieties.

Established in 1998 by Australian banana farmers Frank and Dianne Sciacca, the farming method uses the natural ecosystem to sustainably grow sweet, creamy fruit as nature intended.

The red wax indicates that the bananas are grown using the Ecoganic cultivation method, so they are free from harmful pesticides. Credit: Laura Wells

“When you see the red wax tip on the bananas, you can tell they were grown in harmony with nature,” Frank said.

“Nature has developed over hundreds of thousands of years to maintain balance. Rather than relying on chemicals, we choose to harness everything nature gives us to grow our bananas slowly and with respect.

“That respect shows in the product and you can feel the difference.”

Rather than relying on chemicals, both synthetic and organic, the method uses all of nature’s creatures on the farm to grow bananas slowly, carefully and sustainably.

Traditional agriculture uses chemicals that sterilize the soil and kill insects, leaving the crop dependent on synthetic fertilizers for its source of nutrition.

The practice can negatively impact soil, organisms, insects, birds, large wildlife and waterways.

“We wanted to farm differently, with nature at the heart of what we do,” Frank explained.

“Nature keeps everything in balance and understanding the natural capital you have allows you to get rid of all the harmful chemicals.

“The result is a growing method that is good for the environment and at the same time produces far superior bananas.”

The farming method uses the natural ecosystem to sustainably grow sweet, creamy fruit as nature intended (stock image).
The farming method uses the natural ecosystem to sustainably grow sweet, creamy fruit as nature intended (stock image). Credit: Getty Images

A testament to these unique farming methods, Red Tip are the only bananas approved by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Growing up diving the Great Barrier Reef, Frank has witnessed reef degradation and ecosystem changes.

He was inspired to develop a new way of farming – a method that would help resolve the imbalances created by conventional farming methods.

Using products that had minimal impact on the ecosystem but allowed for continuous ecological improvement if used correctly allowed Frank to begin rebuilding and fortifying the soil to provide a thriving habitat.

What do your fruit stickers mean

The bananas arrive just weeks after Joshua Bollom, from Sydney, revealed the little-known codes on the fruit stickers.

The 25-year-old said the small four or five-digit code reveals the exact location, whether it was genetically modified and even what chemicals or pesticides were used in the growing process.

TikToker Joshua Bollom has revealed the truth behind your fruit stickers.
TikToker Joshua Bollom has revealed the truth behind your fruit stickers. Credit: TikTok/joshuabollom

“I’m sure a lot of you eat fruit, and every time you buy fruit you always see those little stickers on it,” he said in a post. TikTok Video.

“Well, those little stickers actually tell you how the fruit is grown.”

Featuring an apple, a lemon and an orange, Joshua discovered how to decipher the PLU (price lookup) code – a universal coding system – on every fresh item in your home.

And according to the International Federation of Commodity Standardssif the product is too small (grapes and cherries for example), the code should be placed nearby, so also look at the packaging.

“These numbers mean different things, so a four-digit number means it was grown with pesticides, and a five-digit number that starts with eight usually means it’s genetically modified (GMO).

“A five-digit number starting with nine usually means it’s certified organic.”

However, when it comes to GMO products, Australians are safe in this department, with all GMO fruits and vegetables banned from growing and importing.

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