If you think about it, bananas are the perfect snack. They come in their own biodegradable casing, don't require washing before eating and are generally mess-free — have one with some peanut butter, for an açaí bowl base, or even in healthy ice cream. I will always pick some up when I'm at Whole Foods, which is why I was so shocked to hear that most Seattle grocery stores don't even sell bananas, thanks to Amazon. 

You'd probably think with all the cool stuff Amazon sells, if they were to give something away for free, it would be an Alexa or another piece of technology. But Amazon's headquarters had another awesome idea — to set up Community Banana Stands around Seattle, Washington to give away free bananas. 

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Photo courtesy of @bo_bo_an on Instagram

The idea came from CEO Jeff Bezos, who decided a while back that the company should provide eco-friendly snacks to citizens encompassing the headquarters as sort of public service. Since Amazon opened these banana stands back in 2015, they've been giving away 8,000 bananas per day every work week. According to the Wall Street Journal, that's about 1.7 million free bananas since opening!

However, not all bananas are free.

If you can't tell by those numbers, they're pretty popular. But ever since Amazon started this movement, Seattle grocery stores haven't been able to sell bananas and have even removed them from their stores. People don't want to buy bananas when they can walk almost anywhere in the city and get them for free.

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Eunice Choi

Beyond grocery stores, many cafes and restaurants have said that bananas are becoming a less popular ordered item. One cafe that's located right next to a banana stand, Anar, hasn't been able to sell their banana yogurt topping (for $1 extra) and instead has started incorporating bananas into menu items so people aren't directly purchasing a banana. They say these items are a hit among their customers.

Some restaurants claim that some diners bring outside bananas to the table and leave their peels for the restaurant to clean up after they've paid the check — as Michelle Tanner would say, "how rude!" Other restaurants say patrons (tbh, probably the dads) jokingly ask if the bananas are free. 

Though a seemingly small part of the business, stores are losing out when it comes to selling bananas. But Amazon sees their invention as a positive for the community — giving every person the ability to have a healthy and quick snack

What's actually worse, is the new language.

Banana stands are starting to bring a whole new vocabulary to Seattle residents. Words like "banista" and "bananager" are things you better learn quick if you want to fit in — yes, those are real jobs. A banista is a person who runs the banana stand. A bananager is a little more advanced, but it's basically just the banana manager overseeing the stand and often responsible for tracking the demand.  

Maybe minus the new lingo, Amazon had a great idea — one that Seattle residents seem to love. I mean, bananas are great.

They're filled with potassium, dietary fiber and vitamins B6 and C. It doesn't matter if you're running late to work and need a fast breakfast or if you're looking to top your ice cream, bananas are great for both quick snacks and dessert additions. 

So if you happen to be in Seattle anytime soon, make sure you stop by a Community Banana Stand. There's no better attraction than a place that gives away free food, even if it is just a banana. And if you have the chance, support the locals and stop in for a bite to eat — just make sure to leave your bananas at the door.