Native New Yorker Lauren Joy Hoffman started noticing something weird as she walked New York City sidewalks: banana peels, banana peels everywhere! Baffled and bemused, she began documenting the banana peels she encountered using the hashtag #bananawatch2015 on Instagram. Since New York doesn’t appear to be overrun by apes nor clowns trying to get people to slip and fall, ANIMAL chatted with Hoffman to get her theory on why there are banana peels all over the place and find out why she created #bananawatch2015.

When did you start noticing banana peels?
Back in January/February of this year. One of my friends had ACL surgery and she was still on crutches. I was concerned about her stepping or slipping on ice so I was looking where she was walking. We were in the Upper East Side when I had to call out “careful, Veronica, don’t step on that…Banana?”

Have you observed an increase in banana peels in some time frame, like since you began documenting them or since last summer, for example?
Banana sightings have become more frequent since the weather has gotten warmer. I now sometimes see entire discarded bananas and not just banana peels.

Where do you see the most banana peels?
I’m finding more bananas in Queens lately- particularly in Sunnyside and Woodside.

Why do you think banana peels are so commonly discarded? Does it have something to do with the chicken bones?
I have not found any chicken bones near the banana peels- it must be an entirely different animal- an herbivore perhaps. Donkey Kong might also be loose in the city- please keep an eye out for barrels.

You think it’s a conspiracy?
Maybe it’s all the underground MarioKart races.

What are you hoping to accomplish with this project?
Bring awareness to the increasing problem of improper banana disposal and the health risks this caues.

Have you seen anyone slip and fall?
Not yet- but I have been a one woman crusader to bring attention to this issue plaguing our city.
#bananawatch2015

(Photos: Lauren Joy Hoffman)