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A clean banana leaf after the meal

Eating is often associated with the banana leaf in South India. The pleasant green leaf peeping out of steamers, wrapped under paper in a food parcel, or used as a substitute for a plate is always a welcome sight.

Ordinarily, banana leaves are used in regular meals, but today's city culture has promoted the use of utensils. To eat on a banana leaf, one must either go to a hotel or attend a feast. On festivals too, to eat out of the large green leaf is a luxury.


While aesthetic and in line with traditions, eating from the banana leaf comes with a lot of health benefits. The first step of washing down the leaf with water cleans any residual dirt and ensures a hygienic meal. The stiff fibrous layer of the leaf has a waterproof lining which is enriched with minerals that are good for the body. The banana leaf contains the same properties as green tea and having food rest for a couple of minutes on it absorbs all the nutrients.

A banana leaf meal A meal served on a banana leaf Image credit: wikimedia commons

Since it is a leaf, obviously, it is eco-friendly. The used leaf can be turned into compost and added to the soil to enrich other plants. Plates need not be washed; the leaf can simply be thrown away. These days, however, the nurture of the leaves is contaminated with chemicals. The soil is sprayed with fertiliser and the leaves grow with pesticides sprayed on them regularly. Eating food out of these leaves is not advisable unless one can absolutely ensure that it is organic.

The practice of eating on the banana leaf is healthier than eating off a plat because the leaf is shaped in such a way that it can hold only so much at a time, or it will tear. This allows for a balanced meal. In order to make sure that the food does not get completely mixed up, enough space is left between each dish, this also regulates the intake of food. Overall, the appeal of eating something from a part of nature itself makes anything taste good. A clean banana leaf after a meal is significant of a healthy eater.

Keywords: Banana Leaf, Festivals, Food, Tradition


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