I’ve just read the Straight Dope article in the Washington City Paper on smoking banana peels. Cecil writes that he wasn’t able to find the result of the FDA study. I’m able to fill him in. My father was a pharmaceutical chemist with the FDA in the 1960s.
The chemical analysis of the prepared bannan skins was assigned to a woman named Charlotte Brunner, who was a colleague of my father’s. The FDA was aware of the recipe given in the Straight Dope, or a recipe similar to it, and part of Charlotte’s job was to prepare several batches of it. What the recipe doesn’t tell you is the the smell of baking banana skins is awful. I remember Dad coming home from work and complaining about the stench in the labs. The only effect of baked banana skins on the brain that the FDA study was able to demonstrate was that Charlotte was unable to tolerate the smell or taste of bananas for several years after.