An easily spread strain of fungus is killing banana plants around the world. It's called Fusarium wilt and it attacks the top-selling banana breed, called the Cavendish.
Unfortunately, the banana growers' total reliance on this hardy, tasteless banana means there's no ready replacement.
While there are more than 1,000 types of bananas, many are consumed where they are grown or are inedible. To make money on exports, growers had to rely on a single variety to ensure uniformity and keep production costs low. Until the 1960s, that was the Gros Michel, which all but disappeared after a decades-long spread of what came to be known as Panama disease.
“The monoculture, the reliance on a single banana breed that makes all this possible -- that makes the low margins work -- also makes that fruit very susceptible to disruption,” said Dan Koeppel, who has traveled to 30 countries to sample varieties and wrote Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. “The biggest problem is disease.”
Image: William Cho. "Could I trade my banana with your cam?" Small trader at Monkey Forest, Ubud – Bali. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Do you own a Samsung smartphone? Do you take photos with said phone? Congratulations, there’s an excellent chance that your handset is randomly firing off those pictures you’ve snapped to folks on your contact list without your permission. According to The Verge, the images are being pushed out by Samsung’s cleverly named default messaging app, […]
When you live full-time in a motorhome, no matter how big it is, there’s not a lot of room for extras. In order to have enough space to be comfortable, its necessary to strip your belongings down to the essentials. A library full of books gives way to e-readers and tablets. Full-sized anything? You’re gonna […]
On Monday, the Supreme Court will review the 9th Circuit's decision in Apple Inc. v. Pepper, in which the plaintiffs argue that Apple has established a monopoly over apps for Ios (this part is actually incontrovertible, as Apple has used both technology and law to prevent rival app stores from operating), and that Iphone and […]
Summer’s here, which brings not only warmer weather but also the unsettling realization that the year is more than halfway over. So, for those who weren’t as productive as they would have liked during the first half of 2018, we’ve rounded up 5 skill course bundles you can start learning today to help you finish […]
It’s good to be proactive, but when it comes to preparing for an emergency situation, one of the most important items you can pack is a flashlight. After all, whatever else you include in your kit won’t be of much use if you can’t see what you’re doing. The Viper 1000-Lumen Tactical Flashlights not only […]
Chances are you took a handful of language classes in high school, and aside from a smattering of conjugations and vocabulary words, the only things you likely remember are the dry, rehearsed sentences that did little to make you speak like a true native. If you’re still hoping to learn a new language but want […]