Bananapocalypse

Here’s a good article on the possibility of a coming bananapocalypse. It sounds kind of funny, but it’s a real problem.

The world’s most popular fruit, the Cavendish banana, is also one of the least genetically diverse. These seedless bananas destined for the $11 billion export market are, essentially, clones. That leaves the humble Cavendish vulnerable to diseases that can take advantage of its limited genetic diversity.

I eat a banana almost every day, so it would really bother me if they disappeared, but of course that’s a “first-world problem.” I’d just eat more of something else, and get on with my life. In some parts of the world, bananas are a staple and an important source of nutrition.

All of this seems to be leading up to a world much like the one presented in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. Let’s hope we don’t actually let it go that far. (Which reminds me: I need to read more Paolo Bacigalupi.)

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