Saturday, November 15, 2003

Sorry, we have no bananas... 

we have no bananas today, or tomorrow or the next day or the next day or the day after the next day....

Atrios points to a dumb post, possibly the "Dumbest. Post. Ever."

Which reminded me of this:

Bananas are a Dying Breed
Thanks to selective breeding, our favorite fruit can neither reproduce nor defend itself from disease

The banana is about to disappear from store shelves around the globe. Experts say the world's favourite fruit will pass into oblivion within a decade. No more fresh bananas. No more banana bread. No more banana muffins or banana cream pie.

Why? Because the banana is the victim of centuries of genetic tampering. Scientists say they will be unable to prevent the extirpation of the banana as an edible commercial crop. And its demise may be one more powerful argument in the hands of those who are concerned about genetic modification of foods.

The banana's main problem is that it has become sterile and seedless as a result of 10,000 years of selective breeding. It has, over time, become a plant with unvarying genetic sameness. The genetic diversity needed to cope with environmental stresses, such as diseases and crop pests, has long ago been bred out of the banana. Consequently, the banana plantations of the world are completely vulnerable to devastating environmental pressures. ~ continue reading here

by Robert Alison
Globe and Mail
July 19, 2003

The Rise and Fall of the House of Banana...(continued)

First edible bananas date back 10,000 years to South-East Asia. Half a billion people in Africa and Asia depend on them as a staple food. [...] The Cavendish banana now being eaten across the globe lacks genetic diversity, he argues in an article in New Scientist magazine, and its survival is threatened by:

- Panama disease, caused by a soil fungus, which wiped out the Gros Michel variety in the 1950s

- Black sigatoka, another fungal disease which has reached global epidemic proportions

- Pests invading plantations and farms in central America, Africa and Asia alike.

Bananas could split for good
Thursday, 16 January, 2003
BBC News

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