Monoculture and Banana Hatred

This looks more appealing to me than an actual banana. Flickr / redteam

This, this, is the change I’ve been waiting for:

[T]he latest issue of the New Yorker arrived on newsstands with a great (but sadly paywalled) article about the way in which the world of bananas-for-export is threatened by something known as Tropical Race Four.

We’ve been through this before: The Gros Michel banana was the predecessor of today’s banana of choice, the Cavendish. The Gros Michel died out after a blight, and it’s likely we’re heading the same way with the Cavendish. I understand how a monoculture can happen (sort of — because Ireland’s Potato Famine should have led to some pro tips) once, but twice?

Ann Friedman and Adam Serwer posted a dialogue at TAP a couple of years ago about the implications of the end of bananas, which, of course will hurt people whose jobs depend on the crop. That’s unfortunate. But, like Ann, I also really, really don’t like bananas: “It’s just that if I had to pick one industrially farmed food to go extinct, it would be the banana. They smell gross. They taste gross. They have a gross texture.”

I won’t miss bananas if they die out. They are disgusting. But this is a good reminder that eating local (when you can) is such a good thing, since small farms tend to have several varieties of produce.

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