Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 46: Bananas out of style

So today at lunch, I was discussing with a group of friends (yeah, thats right-- today for the first time I ate lunch with a group of friends! okay, well it was one friend and the rest of HER friends but whatevs) the fruit the banana. We were talking about bananas going bad and how you can freeze it and use in banana bread. One girl recommended freezing bananas whole (not rotten) and then using them in smoothies instead of ice cubes-- interesting!

Anyways, the banana conversation quickly turned from talking about food to talking about something way more technical and advance (which is what happens when you work with engineers/scientists).

Someone at the table had heard on a Scientific American podcast about the future of bananas, and people, the truth is horrifying. The podcast featured an interview with some dude who wrote some book about bananas. Fascinating, I know. But it gets better.

What I learned is that there is only one strain of bananas that are actually eaten by regular people... that is the Cavendish banana. And these Cavendish bananas are genetically the same and they are the only type of banana that is hearty and tough enough to handle the travel time from wherever it was grown to your supermarket. So for anybody that has ever pealed and eaten a banana, that was a Cavendish banana you ate.

The exception being if you are over 50 years old and you've been a banana fan for your whole life. Cause there used to be another kind of banana that went extinct 50 years ago, and that was called the Gros Michel. There was a disease called the Panama Disease that wiped out ALL the Gros Michel bananas! So the banana anybody ate today? Not the same kind of banana Grammy ate as a little kid.

And guess what? PANAMA DISEASE IS BACK. The dude says in the podcast, "It has spread all the way through the Pacific to Australia and it is coming to our hemisphere. It has not hit yet, but I have said often and it is absolutely true that it is coming. No banana scientists, no plant pathologist denies that. "

Did you all read that. NO BANANA SCIENTISTS DENY IT. I'm sorry but if you don't trust a banana scientist, then who do you trust?

So fill your freezers people, bananas are on their way out. You can all thank me later for what I and now what you learned after Monday, 9/15.

And P.S. Fun fact? Bananas are actually berries!


1 comment:

Courtney said...

maybe that is why bananas were ridiculously expensive in australia and hard to find!