The banana in the lunchbox of the future may not be the same soft, yellow fruit we all ate as children. A fungus is destroying the banana as we know it, and there is no cure. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Bananas are dying. The foodstuff, more heavily consumed even than rice or potatoes, has its own form of cancer. It is a fungus called Panama Disease, and it turns bananas brick-red and inedible.
The situation is made worse by lack of crop diversity. The banana we know today is called the Cavendish; it replaced the Gros Michel, which was destroyed by the same Panama disease in the 1950s. The Cavendish was considered a reasonable replacement (think: banana 2.0), and the cycle repeated itself: large monocrop plantations (along with some nasty political maneuvering—they don’t call ’em banana republics for nothing). Now the Cavendish is at risk.
According to the article, “There are bananas we could adopt as Banana 3.0—but they are so different to the bananas that we know now that they feel like a totally different and far less appetizing fruit.”
The best shot we have at Banana 3.0 is the Goldfinger, sometimes called “the acid banana.”
Smoothies and banana bread may never be the same.