Friday, March 09, 2007

The bananas are safe...or are they?

A year or two ago, I read an article that talked about how bananas are in danger of extinction from a fungus. That's because the bananas we eat so greedily here in the US are all of one variety, and so are vulnerable to being wiped out en masse. In fact, the bananas we eat are all clones of the same fruit; how weird is that?

I can't find the original article now, but here's one from Popular Science that takes a long look at the issue.

I post today, though, because I found a reference on the wonderful Ask a
site to some hope. In essence, it says that if bananas are wiped out, we'll find a new
variety that we can eat
, and cultivate it....we've done it before.

Now maybe I can stop bugging my wife about how we need to eat bananas while they're still around. But it's hard to be sure we can stop worrying. According to the Popular Science article, we may be able to make a new banana, but it won't likely taste just like Cavendish we're so fond of, and it might not taste much like it at all. Many banana varieties taste more like apples. The soft, creamy fruit we're used to is something of an oddity.

1 comment:

  1. Popular Science has been saying for decades now that we'd have flying cars. Maybe bananas will go extinct about the time we get our flying cars. I do like bananas, but I might take that trade.