On my non-working days, I spend my breakfast time catching up with news (okay, I start with sports news before hitting the serious stuff) and I came across an article on the good old BBC website.
The title of the article grabbed me straight away: Bananas on the brink.
Brink of what? Global domination?
Now, I like my bananas. I like them when there is the merest hint of green left on their skin. When they are firm and definitely not when they look like they’ve gone 10 rounds with a prize-fighter. Not battered, bruised or mushy. No thank you!
Over 100 billion are consumed each year so it sounds like the whole world likes a banana. Some like them more than others as the little fella below demonstrates. (Apologies for not keeping my blog a minions free zone. They are everywhere and I buckled.)
You don’t know the history on your own doorstep sometimes. As the article starts:
Buy a banana and it will almost certainly be descended from one plant grown at an English stately home. But now we face losing one of the world’s best-loved fruits.
Sitting in picture-perfect Peak District grounds, Chatsworth House seems an unlikely birthplace for today’s global banana industry.
But practically every banana consumed in the western world is directly descended from a plant grown in the Derbyshire estate’s hothouse 180 years ago.
No. This is not a picture of our house!
We don’t live too far away from Chatsworth and I drive through their estate half a dozen times a year. I had no idea the history of my breakfast accompaniment linked so close to home.
Tangent time, if you are ever in England and near Derbyshire then this is a great place to spend the day. Lovely historic house. Very nice gardens and estate to wander around. Once you’ve paid your entrance fee, obviously.
Back to bananas.
In the 1830s, the head gardener, Joseph Paxton, managed to grow a banana plant brought over from Mauritius. Then the missionary, John Williams, exported them over to Samoa. Others introduced the Cavendish banana across the Pacific and Canary Islands. Soon they were everywhere!
Now the Cavendish banana faces a fight against a new strain of Panama disease also known as banana wilt. They wiped out the popular Gros Michel variety in the 50s. Time for the scientists to save the day and our bananas.
You weren’t expecting a history lesson today were you? 🙂
They will not disappear tomorrow, or even next week or month. NO PANIC BUYING!
So, make sure you eat up your bananas while you can. The world would seem a strange place without them!
Do you like your bananas?