Bananas are the UK’s most popular fruit.
On average we eat 10kg of bananas every year, about 100 bananas each. (BBC Good Food)
The health benefits of eating bananas are many.
But have you seen that the Cavendish Banana, the banana that most people in the world eat, is being wiped out by fungus?
Banana plantations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Taiwan have been destroyed by the fusarium fungus, which is spreading through much of Southeast Asia.
So far the fungus hasn’t reached the Caribbean where most of the UK’s Cavendish bananas originate but the clock is ticking.
The Cavendish banana has a fascinating history.
But now experts say the fungus could eventually wipe out Cavendish bananas worldwide.
This has happened before!
Up until the 1960s the Gros Michel banana was more popular than the Cavendish. Gros Michel was larger and considered tastier than the Cavendish. But the Gros Michel variety was killed off by a fungus.
To save the banana, scientists are trying to genetically alter the Cavendish to make it able to resist the fungus.
They are also developing another variety that they hope most consumers would find an acceptable substitute.
And it looks as though the scientists have solved the problem
as long as you don’t mind eating genetically modified crops.
So, hopefully, we won’t have to join Billy Jones in his 1923 rendition of “Yes! We Have No Bananas”.