“Amazing Fact #2
Common bananas are all genetically identical, because they come from trees that have been cloned for decades.
Have you ever noticed that while there are a plethora of varieties of nearly all common fruits such as apples, oranges and peaches,
each banana seems identical to every other?
When someone says “banana,” you probably think of a large fruit with yellow skin and a soft, pale middle. That’s because only bananas of the “Cavendish” variety are sold in stores. And while there are indeed many species in the banana genus “Musa,” those species are drastically different from the “banana” in taste and texture. Fruit corporations long ago decided that it would best serve their profits to train consumers to expect all bananas to be identical.
In order to preserve their distinctive properties, Cavendish bananas are never allowed to reproduce sexually. That means they all have the exact same genetic code as the first Cavendish tree selected by United Fruit Corporation in the 1950s to replace the
Gros Michael banana.
The Gros Michael banana—another genetically identical cultivar—was so devastated by disease that it could no longer be supplied
to the global market in any quantity. Now the same disease is targeting the Cavendish variety, exposing yet again the folly and nonsustainability of monoculture.”