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The world's most popular banana could go extinct.


Stashed in: Awesome, Bananas!, Calamaties, Extinction

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The reason the original disease and its latest permutation are so threatening to bananas is largely a result of the way in which we have cultivated the fruit. While dozens of different varieties are grown around the world, often in close proximity to one another, commercially produced bananas are all the same (quite literally in fact, because they are effectively clones of each other).

This helps companies like Dole and Chiquita control for consistency and produce massive amounts of bananas on the cheap without having to deal with imperfections (it's the reason why the fruit is so easy to find at supermarkets everywhere). But it also makes their bananas incredibly vulnerable to attacks from pests and disease. When you get rid of variety entirely, you risk exposing a crop to something it can neither cope with nor evolve to defend itself against.

Homogeneity means the population cannot adapt. 

Bananas are gross. Eating one on public transit should be punishable by a long jail sentence.

So the extinction of bananas would be a good thing?

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