seanm, I highly doubt there will be a shortage of bananas with the current availability of the plant, and with cloning technologies making it possible to theoretically bring back an entire species from one male and female specimen. Hope I helped, and have a green day!
Yes it is the unfortunate truth. Our modern food supply in the US is quite possibly headed towards disaster for many of our favorite fruits and vegetables. Over the last century and specifically over the last 50 years, the food that makes it to US supermarkets have become less and less varied in their genetic make up. We want the same perfect banana or tomato every time, and in order to achieve that, growers around the world have been genetically modifying fruits. So now the banana as we know it in the US, the Cavendish variety, is grown across the world and has so little genetic biodiversity that they are like twins growing everywhere. This lack of biodiversity makes them incredibly susceptible to disease or fungus, because if it can attack one banana, all bananas on the globe are susceptible. The banana of choice of the US was already wiped out once in the 1960s, and our current banana was the replacement, so this isn’t a remote possibility.
Bananas will be around for some time to come. The claim that bananas will be wiped out within 10 years has been circling apparently since a 2003 New Scientist report suggesting that bananas will succumb to two diseases within the next 10 years—a leaf fungus and a root fungus. That was 7 years ago.
However, any crop that is grown in large monocultures, such as the banana is very vulnerable to disease and pests. There are hundreds of varieties of bananas, however, only a few are cultivated on a commercial scale. Bananas are also vulnerable because they are grown through vegetative propagation, which means that a grove of bananas is often made up of genetically identical individuals.
It is worth considering the impact of increased transportation costs on the supply of many tropical fruits and food products. Shipping is one of the most fuel efficient forms of long distance transport currently used, so it is less likely to be severely impacted by steadily increasing fuel costs, but it will still be impacted and the cost of such tropical wonders will likely increase.
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