Saturday, August 27, 2005

Eat more bananas. While you still can.
Why? Because before you depart this mortal coil, you are likely to see the extinction of the banana.
The genetic diversity of the commercial banana is zero. There is one banana - called the Cavendish. All the billions of bananas grown and sold worldwide are clones of one plant. They are all tasty, all nutritious, and all vulnerable.
A little background. In the beginning, the banana sold commercially was a breed called the Gros Michel. Until the '60s, it was sold worldwide. However, a fungus known as Panama disease pretty much killed it off.
Today, the banana sold is the Cavendish. And a new species of fungus has appear that is killing it off in Southeast Asia. Experts believe that it is only a matter of time before Panama Disease Race 4 hits Africa and the Americas - after which the Cavendish will be no longer commercially viable.
For more information check out this Popular Science page. Kudos to SciTech Daily for the link.,20967,1076199,00.html

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