More bananas!

Interestingly, the song “Yes, We Have no Bananas” was probably written about the scarcity of Big Mike (Gros Michel) bananas in the wake of the first wave of Panama Disease.

Gros Michel isn’t extinct, by the way. The crops have just been so widely damaged by Panama Disease that it’s not commercially viable to grow and ship them in bulk. The fungus that’s attacking Cavendish plantations right now started in Malaysia, and has spread to Indonesia, and is starting to affect Africa and Australia. It’s not anywhere in Latin America now, but given the state of global trade and commerce, it’s kind of only a matter of time. It’s also spreading faster than the strain that killed Gros Michel did.

The suckers, or rhizomes, that come off a banana tree are called “pups”. Banana pups! Isn’t that adorable? It’s actually pretty frustrating though when you’re trying to research the topic and Google image search just returns a bunch of these:

Not that dogs in banana costumes aren’t cute! But come on.