You’re probably familiar with the banana. The long, yellow, nutrient fruit ranks as the most consumed fruit in the world. What you may not be familiar with is the fact that bananas have already gone through an apocalypse, and they’re on the verge of a second one. Read on to find out how the world is going bananas over Cavendish apocalypse.
- Bananas are ranking at #1 as the most eaten fruit worldwide, with over 100 billion eaten every year
- The yellow fruit is naturally radioactive because of its high Potassium concentration
- There’s an extremely high chance that all the bananas you’ve ever eaten were clones of the same plant
- The banana is one of the world’s healthiest foods due to its low calorie count and huge nutritional value
- Bananas have already gone through one apocalypse
The current bananas we all enjoy are of the Cavendish variety, a breed that was until recently renowned for its endurance; however, in the ‘50s, everybody was eating a completely different type of bananas. Perhaps you even know the taste, as it is found in sweets with artificial banana flavoring.
The Gros Michel banana, as it was called, suffered from a very serious fungal infection, leading to the worldwide extinction of the breed. The only choice farmers had was to replant their crops using a different breed of banana, a breed that was able to resist the fungal infection. This worked, as banana plantations are some of the most profitable businesses in the world.
Sadly, however, the fungus learned to adapt, and is now infecting the Cavendish plantations all over the world. The fungal pathogen, dubbed Panama Disease, has been found to lie dormant in the ground for over 30 years, adapting, mutating. Since the Cavendish variety of bananas are all clones of the same plant, the pathogen has learned to adapt, while the banana plants are completely vulnerable, unable to protect themselves against the deadly fungus.
There is no way to stop the infection, and once it reaches Latin America, researchers say that it will be the end of the Cavendish banana. That is not the end of the bad news, as we do not have a backup banana breed, and if scientists do not find a way to either stop the infection or engineer a new banana breed, we will probably have eaten the last of the yellow fruit within the next few decades.
Image source: Wikimedia