today i learned the sad news that my beloved bananas... are possibly doomed to extinction within my lifetime!!?!?
you may have noticed that bananas have no seeds, which begs the question: how do bananas reproduce? the original breeds of bananas found in india (several thousand years ago) apparently had seeds, but the mutated seedless varieties were more pleasing to the palate. so ancient plant breeders propagated the tasty seedless kind by "grafting sterile mutants onto wild stems." after thousands of years of repeating this process, remaining bananas are sterile and defenseless against disease.... thus DOOMED!!
johann hari believes that the most damage has been done in the last 50 years due to profit-obsessed companies ignoring warnings. my feeling is that a combination of active manipulation of plants over time and apathetic human groups interested in money money money have contributed to the problem, even though the time frames of these two contributers are dramatically different.
what worries me is that this has happened so rapidly to a popular fruit loved by so many around the world.... so how many other fruits and vegetables will suffer the same fate before we humans fully grasp the issues at hand?
for more info on the above image of the banana floating in orbit, see the geostationary banana over texas project.