Bananas are by a long way the most popular and most eaten fruit in the world today! However, did you know that soon there may be no more bananas in the world as we know them today? Scary thought isn’t it? Think about it, which would mean no more banana bread, no more crisps, no more banana shakes, generally no more bananas… FULL STOP! As it happens, the Cavendish breed of bananas is going extinct and fast. History is repeating itself!
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN almost 50% of all bananas grown worldwide are the Cavendish banana variety… bad news for us as these are the one exported to us in Europe, which means if they are gone, there is nothing to export 🙁
So what is responsible for this incoming doom?
Well, apparently it is all due to the so called Tropical Race 4, a fungus that attacks the roots of the banana plants just like the Panama disease did before, which ended up wiping out the Gros Michel type of banana back in the 50s. Now the fungus is back and it’s coming for our Cavendish.
So what’s next?
I have no idea personally but I hope that someone smart will come up with a solution and come up with it very soon as I really like bananas.
Reading up on the subject it looks like we have two possible ways to go… option 1: contain the fungus (highly unlikely and very hard to achieve in reality) or option 2: create a new breed of banana which will be able to resist the fungus (most likely the preferred way to go). But this would mean that we will only have genetically modified bananas on the menu at all times 🙁
Don’t panic I am not suggesting that there will be no more bananas in the shop by tomorrow but it will be in the near future if we don’t find a solution (no one can say with certainty how much time we have to enjoy them). They will become slowly become rarer and rarer and thus inevitably much more valuable… until we have sometime new, let’s call it banana 2.0.
I like bananas and I wish there was something I could do to save them… both the banana itself and the livelihoods of the 1000s of people working with them in the industry… but I can’t so I had better go and have a banana whilst they are still here and I can afford to buy some.
Do you like bananas?
Will you be sad to see them go?