This shit is bananas.

1954-ish magazine ad for United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International) that I found in a box of scraps.

It starts off innocently enough. Vague, nice-sounding, feel-good advice on how to live better and longer. And then… BANANAS! EAT BANANAS! DID WE MENTION BANANAS?

It’s a double-truck ad from United Fruit Company, one of the companies quite literally responsible for bringing the term “Banana Republic” from fiction to the real world.

(Her yellow gloves were a very nice touch.)

So eat lots of bananas, kiddos, or Miss Chiquita will cut ya.

Banana Fun Facts: There is no such thing as a banana tree. Bananas come from a herbaceous flowering plant with a pseudostem often mistaken for a tree trunk.

The tiers of a banana cluster are called hands, and each banana is also known as a finger.

If you hate those gross stringy things you find on a banana after peeling it, then you hate phloem bundles.

Lastly, bananas are naturally radioactive. Yay!

The copy:

“Doctor, I’d like to know… Do I have to grow old?”

No, not as your grandparents or even your parents did. The doctors have learned in recent years that there is much that can be done to help make all of life’s years happy and productive.

They have learned that a zest for living, a liking for people, serenity of spirit, peace of mind, sensible living and eating, all are important. They now know that good eating habits in particular have a vital bearing on the retention of physical vigor, mental alertness and, above all, the protection of the heart, the arteries, the glandular system and the digestive tract.

Your doctor will tell you that a diet based upon the generous use of such protective foods as fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, milk, eggs and meat not only helps to keep you healthy but has a lot to do with keeping your physical stamina and mental alertness “young”!

At any age the protective foods should be used generously in the daily diet. Among the best, as we grow older, are bananas, because of their easy digestibility, because they do not require vigorous chewing, because they supply needed vitamins and minerals, because they are effective in weight control, and because they have such a beneficent effect on the entire digestive system.

Why not eat to add life to your years as well as to add years to your life!

Because of the many appetizing ways in which bananas can be served, as well as because of their importance in nutrition, bananas are now being used more widely than ever by people of all ages.

United Fruit Company

For health, eat and enjoy a plentiful variety of the right foods.

If you do not know what the “right” foods are, ask your doctor.

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