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The End of Bananas

NEW YORK, Aug 14, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The Cavendish, the version of the banana that tops most U.S. cereal bowls, is being wiped out by fungus.

Banana plantations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Taiwan have been destroyed by the fungus, which is spreading through much of Southeast Asia, reports Popular Science.

Experts say the fungus could wipe out Cavendish bananas worldwide.

To save the banana, scientists are trying to genetically alter the Cavendish to make it able to resist the fungus. They are also developing another variety that they hope most consumers would find an acceptable substitute.

In any event, this has happened before -- up until the 1960s, Americans ate Gros Michel bananas, a banana that was larger and considered tastier than the Cavendish. That variety got killed by a fungus.

Bananas are the most popular U.S. fruit -- the average American consumes 26.2 pounds of bananas a year, reported the New York Times Sunday.

That's a picture of the Cavendish banana, which for the most part looks like the typical Del Monte or Chiquita brand banana's you find at any american grocery store.

This news sounded humorous when I first read it, but upon a little investigation, I found out that its actually being posted on several reputed scientific sites. Basically all banana's are truly in danger of being wiped out and in the next decade.

I can't imagine a world without banana's. I grew up in asia where banana trees and plantations were very commonplace. It amazes me that something I've always taken for granted could become extinct in my lifetime. Mother nature truly is a force to be reckoned with.

PS. Perhaps its time to divert resources from Panda preservation to banana preservation. After all, I might wax poetic if the Panda goes extinct but I WILL FEEL the effects of banana extinction. Perhaps I'm being shortsighted but that's my 2 cents.


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