Categories News

Are Bananas Going Extinct?

In short, yes.  But it’s not that simple, and won’t be in the near future. To learn about why the banana is going extinct, we have to take a short history lesson.

Back not too long ago, the bananas we know today did not exist. Today we are eating a specific banana known as the Cavendish variety, but back a few decades, and the only banana to exist was a variety known as the Gros Michel. This banana was noted as being tastier than the variety we have today, so what happened to it? Due to desiring uniformity in ripeness and taste, bananas were essentially clones of one another.

And anyone with a basic knowledge in asexual reproduction should know, that although it is easier to give birth to many individuals without the risk of commingling, the lack of genetic diversity means that once a deadly disease passes through, there will be no immunity. And this is exactly what happened when the Panama Disease fugus struck banana plantations in the early 1900’s, causing the fruit to go extinct.

Which is probably a good thing, because despite being a staple in many diets, including the diets of many Vegans, the banana is not a good source of nutrition compared to most other fruits. you only can eat 80 oz of banana, or 20 bananas, to reach 2000 Calories, but you can eat 3 times as many Strawberries, or over twice as many peaches, both of which give you more nutritional value per ounce.

For me though, I don’t know why this is news. People are freaking out about the information as if it has not been circulating around the internet since 2003. While the threat to the Banana is real, and will effect the banana in the future, it is not happening right now. News reports of the banana going extinct are simply rehashings of old news to trap the public’s attention every few years as a way to get views.

So the banana as supposed to go extinct in “5 to 15 years” in 2003, now it’s about 20 years from today. So who knows? The best advice would be to eat cereal with strawberries instead of bananas, but since bananas are so cheap per pound, that will be a hard thing to convince anyone of.