Are You Peeling Your Banana the Right Way?

Is she peeling a banana like a monkey?. (Photo: Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock)

Have you heard the advice about peeling a banana from the bottom up? Pinching the bottom so the peel splits is often easier than breaking back the top to peel the fruit. And, fans of the method say it's also how the monkeys do it.

Is peeling a banana from the top the "correct" way to do it, or should we follow the lead of the monkeys?

I questioned that point, so I did a little research — and it might surprise you. Monkeys in the wild don't even eat bananas!

Somewhere in our collective consciousness we have an image of monkeys in a jungle, swinging from tree to tree, grabbing a bunch of bananas and snacking to their heart's content. Our collective consciousness is mistaken.

"Wild monkeys never encounter bananas at all, ever, unless they are around human habitation where bananas are or have been planted," Katharine Milton, a researcher who has studied the diets of primates for decades, told Business Insider. Monkeys in captivity eat bananas, but only because they're fed to them, even though it's not part of their natural diet.

So when a monkey is given a banana, does he open it from the top or the bottom? It turn out, he doesn't usually peel it from either end! Instead, he bites through the peel and uses the opening from his bite as the starting point of his peeling — like the monkey below.

monkey biting banana
Most monkeys bite into the skin of a banana on the side to get to the fruit inside. (Photo: Hurst Photo/Shutterstock)

If peeling a banana like a monkey is the right way to do it, we're all doing it wrong. Monkey method aside, if you want a more conventional method, what's the right way, top or bottom?

I know I always try to open it from the top out of habit, and if it's difficult, I pinch it from the bottom to open it. So I do it both ways. How about you?