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Old 04-06-2014, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Vegas
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Drudge has dire news for us – world's banana crop under attack for a deadly fungus. Spread from Asia to Africa and already jumped to crucial plantations in Latin America.


Did a secret cabal in Beijing decide to punish us for some reason? What am I going to do with my morning cereal with no sliced bananas in it? Read more @ Bananageddon: Millions face hunger as deadly fungus Panama disease decimates global banana crop - World Politics - World - The Independent
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:07 AM
MJ7
 
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Millions face hunger? What a silly title to a story.

Last I checked not a lot of people lived off of a diet comprised of bananas (except some really ridiculous extremist vegans).
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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The title of the thread is a tad misleading as well.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ7 View Post
Millions face hunger? ..........Last I checked not a lot of people lived off of a diet comprised of bananas ............
No but there are many people who make their living by farming bananas and if their trees all die, they will have no income. The farm laborers who pick bananas for a living will be out of work. The factory workers who manufacture the specialty boxes that bananas are shipped in will lose their jobs. The nurseries who grow the banana plant starts will be closed and all their laborers will be out of work.

Is this fungus specific to banana plants, or will it attack and kill other tropic plants?
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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This fungus affects all varieties of plantains and bananas. Bananas & their kin represent 25% of the food calories consumed worldwide. And it's not a "oh a few sick plants" but unless a new variety is developed soon (and they are notoriously difficult plants to culture), there will be no more bananas or plantains by about 2025. So, yes, it is an enormous threat to the food supply overall.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:59 PM
MJ7
 
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The Cavendish bananas have been farmed to be genetically identical, so there is very little chance of it obtaining a genetic resistance to Panama fungus, although it can be genetically resistant to TR4. The Cavendish is but one species of banana, before the 1960s the Gros Michel species was the crop banana, that was later changed to Cavendish. There are researchers studying to see if Gros Michel or other species are resistant to the Panama fungus, basically testing out wild grown bananas. I'm almost positive they will be successful. If anything the main crop banana species might change to something more evolutionarily favored, might not taste the same though.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezycom View Post
This fungus affects all varieties of plantains and bananas. Bananas & their kin represent 25% of the food calories consumed worldwide.
I've seen that stat for certain regions, like parts of Africa, but there's no way that's true worldwide.

If you look here: Staple food - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plantain production is only 1% by weight of just the top 10 staple foods alone, and plantains are only 7th out of those 10 in calories by weight. Rice, maize, sorghum, and wheat have about 3x the calories per weight as plantains.

On this list, by total calories produced, plantains come in at number 22:

http://www.gardeningplaces.com/artic...ories-data.txt

I don't know if bananas are included, but if not, they're not in the top 44 that are listed there.

I couldn't find specific stats for percent of total calories worldwide, but they appear to provide much less than 1% of the world's total calories, though they provide a large percent of calories in some poor countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weezycom View Post
And it's not a "oh a few sick plants" but unless a new variety is developed soon (and they are notoriously difficult plants to culture), there will be no more bananas or plantains by about 2025. So, yes, it is an enormous threat to the food supply overall.
We already went through this with Gros Michel bananas being wiped out, and replaced by Cavendish. They should be able to find a replacement for Cavendish, people have been working on it for a while. There are a lot of wild strains that are resistance to tropical race 4, the strain of Panama disease that has been wiping out Cavendish plantations. They have resistant cultivars now, just none so far that are considered acceptable quality (no hard seeds, long shelf life, low starch, uniformity, etc.). Only about 50% of the bananas grown worldwide are Cavendish, even though almost all the ones eaten in the developed world are.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTTrXAE7OPU
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