A few years ago, we heard about the hideous banana disease that may endanger the banana crops in Africa. It was dubbed “Banana Xanthomonas Wilt or BXW” and is one of the most devastating diseases of bananas in the Great Lakes region of Africa these days. If you are not familiar with it, you can view it here.
It would appear that a possible cure for BXW may come from a little green pepper. Not everyone is happy about the green pepper intervention though. It appears that an Anti-GMO (genetically modified organisms) group, Friends of the Earth Nigeria said it was apparent that Africa has become the popular excuse for experimentation in modern biotechnology. Crop scientists have successfully transferred genes from the green pepper to bananas that enable the crop to resist the Banana Xanthomonas Wilt.
So why are the “Friends of the Earth” against this intervention?
The organization argues that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are a direct threat to the environment and negated the notion of food sovereignty and the pursuit of food security. I would argue that if the pepper gene can prevent the banana wilt, we ought to give it a go.
These are some interesting banana facts from the Chiquita Bananas’ Website:
Bananas first appeared in the United States in 1804.
Contrary to popular belief, bananas do not grow on trees. The banana grows on the world’s largest perennial herb plant that can grow as tall as 25 feet.
The American Heart Association has certified bananas as a heart-healthy food.
Bananas contain 15% of your daily recommended vitamin C requirement.
You can visit Chiquita to find out more about the banana here. Or you can watch the Disney Chiquita commercial from the 1940’s here on youtube.
I cannot imagine a world without bananas – even wilted ones.