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"Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It’ll Be Gone" Topic

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210 hits since 16 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0116 Mar 2017 12:50 p.m. PST

"n a plate, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.

In 1950, most bananas were exported from Central America. Guatemala in particular was a key piece of a vast empire of banana plantations run by the American-owned United Fruit Company. United Fruit Company paid Guatemala's government modest sums in exchange for land. With the land, United Fruit planted bananas and then did as it pleased. It exercised absolute control not only over what workers did but also over how and where they lived. In addition, it controlled transportation, constructing, for example, the first railway in the country, one that was designed to be as useless as possible for the people of Guatemala and as useful as possible for transporting bananas. The company's profits were immense. In 1950, its revenues were twice the gross domestic product of the entire country of Guatemala. Yet while the United Fruit Company invested greatly in its ability to move bananas, little was invested in understanding the biology of bananas themselves…"
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princeman16 Mar 2017 6:06 p.m. PST

Always a terrifying prospect.

Tacitus17 Mar 2017 10:45 a.m. PST

Read a report like this 8 years ago. Bananas still cheap and plentiful. And I still don't like the texture.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member17 Mar 2017 10:37 p.m. PST

Apples used to be perfect, until agribusiness ruined most of them. I have a hard time today finding one I can stand to eat -- always too sweet and too mushy. Bleh. If you have access to an old or wild cultivar or a source for the real thing, enjoy it and nurture it!

tigrifsgt18 Mar 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

piper909 try a Cortland apple straight out of the orchard. It will restore your faith in apples. You won't find them in most stores.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 3:10 p.m. PST

The cavendish banana will pass away, it's inevitable. But where there is a demand some clever person will fill it. There will be bananas again.

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