Are Banana’s Going To Be Extinct In 10 Years? The Truth Behind A New Rumor
When I first heard someone suggest that banana's are going to disappear from supermarket shelves in the next ten years, I dismissed it as coming from "someone who didn't know what they were talking about". Then I encountered another person who shared the same story - that a strain of fungus was attacking banana trees, and they would be extinct within the next decade. Hmm, I thought. Then a third person passed the story off to me - and that's when I realized that I needed to do some investigation of my own.
First - I learned that the banana is really a berry. I also learned that the yellow-colored fruit that we buy in American supermarkets is actually one of many varieties of bananas that grow in the world. The particular variety that we commonly purchase and eat in 2016 in supermarkets is called Cavendish.
So, back to our original question: Are bananas going to be extinct from a fungal disease within the next ten years. The answer is yes - but only Cavendish bananas. A fungus called Tropical Race 4 (TR4) is killing off Cavendish bananas - but not the others. At this point there isn't a solution to kill off the fungus. So Cavendish bananas will probably disappear. However - much like American consumers did in the early 1900's (when a similar sort of fungus killed off the Gros Michel banana variety that used to be sold in stores), supermarket suppliers will switch to a different type of banana.
Have you ever heard the song "Yes, We Have No Banana's"? That song was originally written back in 1922 about the disappearance of the Gros Michel banana. Now you know.