A few fascinating things I’ve learned from Dan Koeppel’s op-ed, “Yes, We Will Have No Bananas”:

  • Bananas travel thousands of miles, rather than hundreds, and spoil in weeks, rather than months, yet they cost half as much as apples.

  • Americans eat as many bananas as apples and oranges combined.

  • Bananas became popular in North America only after aggressive marketing.

  • Despite the existence of more than 1,000 varieties, bananas in the US are all the same: the Cavendish.

  • The Cavendish is inferior in taste to the banana our great-grandparents ate.

  • Reliance on a single variety of banana will eventually result in another widespread crop destruction due to disease.

Bananas in Egypt were different—and grown locally along the Nile, no less. Now I feel guilty for calling them “weird bananas.”

Readers of food literature are familiar with the dangers of monoculture. It’s a shame that the industrial-age techniques we developed to make food cheap and accessible to everyone have also brought us inferior taste, reduced nutritional value, and increased susceptibility to disaster.