[Sca-cooks] bananas

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Apr 19 22:16:27 PDT 2012

> Global chocolate crisis looms

That goes along with the stuff I've been reading about the Cavendish
banana.  As a monoculture, it is very vulnerable to a new version of
the fungus that wiped out the Gros Michel banana in the 50's.
Africa is also struggling with blight in bananas that are daily food
for many.



For a lot more on this subject, including a bunch of stuff on bananas  
and their history and an interesting read, see this book:

Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
Koeppel, Dan
ISBN: 1-59463-038-0
Hudson Street Press
304 pages

 From Publishers Weekly
The world's most humble fruit has caused inordinate damage to nature  
and man, and Popular Science journalist Koeppel (To See Every Bird on  
Earth) embarks on an intelligent, chock-a-block sifting through the  
havoc. Seedless, sexless bananas evolved from a wild inedible fruit  
first cultivated in Southeast Asia, and was probably the apple that  
got Adam and Eve in trouble in the Garden of Eden. From there the  
fruit traveled to Africa and across the Pacific, arriving on U.S.  
shores probably with the Europeans in the 15th century. However, the  
history of the banana turned sinister as American businessmen caught  
on to the marketability of this popular, highly perishable fruit then  
grown in Jamaica. Thanks to the building of the railroad through Costa  
Rica by the turn of the century, the United Fruit company flourished  
in Central America, its tentacles extending into all facets of  
government and industry, toppling banana republics and igniting labor  
wars. Meanwhile, the Gros Michel variety was annihilated by a fungus  
called Panama disease (Sigatoka), which today threatens the favored  
Cavendish, as Koeppel sounds the alarm, shuttling to genetics- 
engineering labs from Honduras to Belgium. His sage, informative study  
poses the question fairly whether it's time for consumers to reverse a  
century of strife and exploitation epitomized by the purchase of one  
banana. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier  
Inc. All rights reserved.

"Clear, engaging…admirable…part historical narrative and  
part pop-science adventure."
-San Francisco Chronicle  --This text refers to the   Paperback edition.

bananas-msg (104K) 12/ 1/11 Period bananas. When and where known.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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