What would you say if I told you that bananas as we know them may be in extreme danger of disappearing. You find the thought utterly terrifying, I'm sure, but it's true!
If you'll bear with me for a moment, and picture a large banana-like object called "Big Mike" ... that is what the common banana used to be (the gros michel banana). This was the banana everyone knew and loved for many years. When people thought banana this is what they thought of. These heroic bananas of yore were bigger and yellower and superior in all ways to modern bananas (well, I'm not sure they were say yellower but they were generally considered to be all around better). And then, they were gone.
You see, all gros michel banana plants were seedless clones of one another, and thus a single disease was able to quickly wipe nearly all of them from the face of the planet (much like the potatoe famine).
This was as recently as the 50s, so your grandparents might still remember a time when bananas were large and glorious.
With no more delicious delicious gros michel bananas, the big banana industry turned to the next best banana they could find, the cavendish banana. The cavendish banana is the banana you currently consider your trusty yellow friend. When you think banana you think cavendish, and you think your little cavendish will never desert you. And you are wrong.
Panama disease, the very disease that wiped out gros michel, is showing itself to be just as effective against the cavendishes. As cavendishes are ALSO all clones of one another, this has extremely dire implications for the industry. One day in your life time "yes, we have no bananas" may be more than just a silly phrase.
Our only hope right now may be the goldfinger banana currently being developed by Honduras*
* unless James Bond stops them? **
** last year's coup in Honduras -- just part of a DEVIOUS banana conspiracy?!
The illustrious whirled models our visual aid today!