STUDENT’S CORNER: SuperFruit
By Ashley Lanuza
August 22, 2013 • 425 views
They are long with an inedible yellow skin that covers the white, squishy flesh. Businessweek.com claims it is Wal-Mart’s number one selling product. This delicious food is none other than bananas. A favorite amongst many, bananas are a quick and easy way to gain natural energy and nutrition at any time of day. Still, the bananas we eat today aren’t the same type of banana our parents or grandparents ate in the 1960s. According to Hank Green, host of the Youtube.com channel “Scishow,” more than fifty years ago, people ate the lab-engineered “Gros Michel” bananas. However, production for the fruit was ceased after the Panama disease infected the growth of these fruits. So, to continue the consumption of this food, scientists made the “Cavendish” banana, the fruit that we eat today. It is resistant to the disease, rendering the Gros Michel unnecessary for commercial consumption. Yes, nearly every single banana you have eaten was created by intelligent humans in white lab coats. If you notice, there are small, tiny black seeds in the middle of the fruit. These are actually infertile seeds, so to continue the production of these bananas, scientists must plant the stem of the Cavendish banana plant instead of the seed.
Nevertheless, our generation is facing an epidemic that may cease the existence of bananas. According to Green, the dangerous pathogens are looking for a way to affect the identically engineered fruits. It is only a matter of time before the bananas would be affected again by the disease. To counter this, scientists are looking for a solution. Some scientists are already looking for a new type of banana to replace the Cavendish. Others are trying to alter the genetics of the current banana to make it resilient against the pathogens. Nonetheless, bananas are proven useful to our daily life, providing a huge amount of Vitamin A, protein, fiber, and iron, according to vitamins.lovetoknow.com. This delicious and nutrition-filled snack may one day be gone, so let’s hope that scientists will find a solution as soon as possible, or we’ll possibly go bananas!