Photo credit: StockFood
Do you just adore those banana slices on top of your French toast?
You and everyone else, apparently. According to Quartz, the creamy fruit is the fourth most valuable global crop in the world (just behind rice, wheat, and milk), making it the most popular fruit on Earth.
But danger lurks in the form of Tropical Race 4, a nasty strain of something called Panama Disease, which is killing banana plants around the world, from the roots up. First, a banana plant’s leaves turn yellow, then brown. The resulting fruit isn’t as sweet or creamy as those that come from a healthy plant. Ultimately, the infected banana plant withers and dies.
There won’t be a run on bananas tomorrow, but this is a serious problem for future banana lovers. Most modern bananas—we’re talking the ones you buy in your neighborhood supermarket—are genetically identical. (This is because they’ve been bred to lack seeds, so they can’t reproduce naturally.) And scientists have yet to develop a