Cavendish, like Gros Michel before it is definitely doomed. Maybe we can mix and match for a few more generations. Maybe GMO bananas will be the only answer. In which case anti-GMO people will have to decide which they like more, bananas or fear mongering.
Or maybe if we're doing gene editing, we can bring the Gros Michel back, you know, since Cavendish was thought of as a second rate banana.
The anti-science activists are also working to kill off the orange as well. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140914-flor...
> The Red Delicious is no longer the dominant apple in American orchards, the U.S. Apple Association said last week, after lasting five decades in the top spot. The Gala apple is now first;
My grandma has lived in Yakima, WA (major apple producer) for 80+ years and tells me all the time that the red delicious used to be a good apple, but was changed with the goal of being prettier, but lost flavor/texture.
Even the article you linked agrees:
"But as genes for beauty were favored over those for taste, the skins grew tough and bitter around mushy, sugar-soaked flesh. "
For example, most of the apples we buy are 10-12 months old , and stored in facilities where they use toxic gases to keep them "fresh".
Is 'toxic gases' the new 'chemicals'?
Combine this with all the processed junk most Americans eat, the lack of sleep and exercise and de-stressing time, and the increasingly dirty air we breathe, I don't think it is a stretch to say we aren't doing anything to help our body and to be weary of things made with 'chemicals' considering we already have so much shit out there that has more than what we should probably be getting exposed to.
Reminds me of "organic pesticides" being treated as rhetorically as safer because they are easier to understand despite it being the exact opposite and including heavy metals. They are broad mechanism toxins that effect essentially everything organic while synthetics are tailored to do things like disrupt very specific proteins that aren't even found in the vertabrates - much less humans themselves. Preferring known dangerous heavy metals over a remote possibility that something far safer and biodegradable that /might/ have something unknown is FUD just as sure as a known embezzler running for reelection saying his opponent might raise taxes.
It is entirely false to characterize organic as "including heavy metals" when they simply allow a fairly common and light "heavy metal" compound which is already permitted outside their standards (ALL organic standards are permitted for non organic use)
Its striking that you could begin by lamenting "sheer lack of nuance" and proceed to base an entire criticism on deceived and inaccurate nuance.
You can check §205.602 here : https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=9874504b6f1...
"I messed up the specifics but the point is that "organic" old style pesticides were often worse ..."
You have not supported that argument, that organic certified pesticides were "often worse" You seem to be misapplying the term "organic" - its a movement/brand name, not a complete selection criteria. The name refers to the "organism" of the plant,animal,ecosystem. It is a general principle that permitted substances and practices should in addition to appearing safe in the immediate term - not be alien to the life and ecosystems involved (much decreasing the likelihood of unexpected reactions in longer term)
Using the term 'chemicals' is too broad. Chemicals includes the water you drink. And the issue is that when you teach people 'chemicals are bad' then anyone else can say 'this is a chemical' and get people to avoid it, even when there is no need to, such as the anti-vaccine movement saying vaccines 'contain chemicals'. It's hard to refute that because yes, they do contain chemicals. The problem is that 'chemicals' were the wrong thing to be taking issue with.
Criticising a process for using a 'toxic gas' without any of the nuance of what the gas is being used for and what the properties and toxicity of the gas are and if they're relevant is just as illiterate and dangerous, and should be challenged when you see it.
That issue is your perceived issue. The fact is chemicals can most certainly be bad -- but you need to teach them that the positives gained from receiving a vaccine greatly outweigh the risks in the minuscule amount of volatile chemicals (mainly, mercury) you receive.
Ionizing Radiation is most certainly not good for you, and exposes you to risk for cell damage, but people understand the tradeoff when they go to the hospital to get an MRI to find out how best to repair their knee, or PET Scan to find out what the best course of treatment for their cancer is.
You get into these problems when you turn your nose up at people, act smugly, and say "chemicals are fine!" Rather a better strategy to combat those anti-vaxxers is to be up front "Yes there is mercury in here, and yes too much is bad for you. But your body has a liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system that does a tremendous job of cleansing toxins from your system, and the benefits you receive from this vaccine far outweigh the cons from a little bit of mercury."
Water is a chemical. And the water you drink probably contains many other beneficial chemicals such as dissolved minerals.
“Having given up on finding the Gros Michel in the wild, I’ve ordered it in from the Miami Fruit Company in South Florida, a tropical fruit grower with so many different bananas they’ll ship you an entire sampler of different varieties.”
Blue Java Bananas are yummy. (altho probably not destined to be the replacement).
This one seems to be prompted by the recent rejection of a GMO solution.
This is the banana equivalent of publishing "The Car is dying, the race to save personal transportation is on" as a result of VW emission scandal.
Contrasting with the Cavendish banana, what proportion of bananas sold are Cavendish? The vast majority, I've been told.
The visible difference is that it never becomes pure yellow. Little brown spots show up while the banana is still somewhat green.
The old bananas would be OK when pure yellow, wonderful with a sprinkling of small brown spots, and OK with lots of brown spots. The weird unripe flavor (sort of cucumber-like but hard to describe) goes away and the bananas become sweet, and then slowly they get mushy.
The new bananas don't ever get as sweet, don't ever lose that unripe flavor, and become mushy while still having a hint of green.
At what point do we run out of other varieties of crops to take genes from?
I think the sustainable end point are genetically engineered yeasts grown in sterile indoor pools that takes in sunlight, growth medium and minerals to product some kind of nutritionally complete Soylent for humans to eat.
It annoys me, probably more than is rational, when I see that. There are lots of types of banana, it's just that we in the west usually only get 1 or 2, because that's what gets cultivated in huge quantities, and is easiest to ship.
On my travels, and sometimes just from a more internationally focused store than a typical supermarket, I've had apple bananas, lady fingers, Fe'i and various types of plantain. I'd love to try ice-cream bananas, red daccas and all the rest.
But what we get is just more Cavendish... and these meme-like articles that crop up several times a year.