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Banana Apocalypse

BANANA APOCALYPSE Bananas may be the oldest fruit farmed in the world, with Buddhist texts documenting the practice as far back as 600BC. While they've only been popular in the US for 100 years or so, they are now a staple, making appearances everywhere from banana splits to breakfast cereals. However, this favorite fruit may be in grave danger. THE BANANA CLONE WARS WHILE THERE ARE OVER 1,000 DIFFERENT SPECIES OF BANANAS IN THE WORLD. ONE TYPE, THE CAVENDISH, TAKES UP 99% %6, OF THE MARKET. 7.6 BILLION Ibs. In 2008, Americans alone consumed 7.6 billion pounds of Cavendish bananas Americans consumed more Cavendish bananas than they did apples and oranges combined The Cavendish banana became the banana market king when it replaced the Gros Michel banana, CAVENDISH GROS MICHEL a different but genetically similar banana which had previously dominated the banana market BY THE MID-1960S, THE GROS MICHEL BANANA WAS WIPED OUT BY DISEASE FUSARIUM WILT CAVENDISH BANANAS ARE CULTIVATED BY A KIND OF CLONING: taking a cutting of an existing plant and planting it elsewhere to grow into its own plant CAVENDISH BANANAS AROUND THE WORLD ARE ALL GENETICALLY SIMILAR Genetic uniformity makes the Cavendish banana extremely susceptible to disease TROPICAL RACE FOUR HITS HARD CAVENDISH BANANA CROPS IN TAIWAN WERE HIT WITH A NEW DISEASE IN THE LATE 1980S 70% The banana disease, Tropical Race Four, wiped out more than 70% of Cavendish Within 20 years, banana crops in Taiwan the disease took out crops in China, .and then began Southeast Asia, to spread elsewhere and Australia Latin American crops of Cavendish bananas, from which the majority of America's bananas are sourced, will be next to fall prey to Tropical Race Four AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE THERE IS NO SURE SOLUTION TO THE BLIGHT OF THE CAVENDISH Half of Americans are 50% opposed to genetically modified foods Both Chiquita and Dole have pledged not to experiment with genetically modified bananas In 2004 Chiquita entered a 2 million dollar contract with the Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola to investigate naturally growing a disease-resistant variety of the Cavendish Scientists agree that it is not a matter of Results of this $2 million dollar effort have not IF but WHEN been promising the Cavendish will no longer exist $6 The perilous future of the banana leaves a 6 BILLION DOLLAR INFRASTRUCTURE BILLION designed exclusively for shipping and exporting Cavendish bananas in jeopardy MORE THANA QUARTER OF THE WORLD'S COUNTRIES ARE INVOLVED IN PRODUCING BANANAS The good news is, though the Cavendish is in trouble, BANANAS WILL NOT CEASE TO EXIST. The Cavendish has been marketed because it's the biggest and the sweetest, but there are intriguing banana alternatives: MANZANO BANANAS a smaller, sweeter, drier fruit, with flavors of strawberry and apple RED BANANAS a smaller, plumper, red in color, softer and sweeter fruit with a slight raspberry flavor BURRO BANANAS a shorter, more square, tangy in flavor fruit with slight lemony notes BABY BANANAS a much smaller and sweeter variety of the classic banana With the Cavendish in danger, it's a great time to get to know new varieties of banana, and to enjoy the kingdom of the Cavendish while it still exists. END SOURCES: /110 110 fa_fact__peed /110 110 fa_fact_peed /110 110 fa_fact_peed /110 110 fa_fact_peed /110 110 fa_fact_peed

Banana Apocalypse

shared by kthorspear on Apr 18
0 comments reveals how the world's most popular banana, the Cavendish, is in danger of becoming extinct. Read to the end to pick your new favorite banana when the apocalypse comes.



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