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Natural News posts alarming but, factually inacurate article on bananas.

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posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:13 AM
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OK, I'm against most big mega corporations and am suspicious of many of the foods they foist on us nowadays but, this article from Natural News shows such a flawed understanding of the topic I just had to take them to task.


You've been eating cloned bananas

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 non-sustainability of monoculture.

Naturel News

From the way they tell it, the "evil fruit corporations" have been using an unnatural cloned variety of bananas which is resulting in the possible extinction of the species due to their evil manipulations of the species.

Well, guess what; all species of bananas are sterile and only continue to exist today through human cultivation through a system of cloning. If it weren't for human intervention the banana would have ceased to exist almost as soon as it came into being.


The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana

The banana, however, is a freakish and fragile genetic mutant; one that has survived through the centuries due to the sustained application of selective breeding by diligent humans. Indeed, the “miraculous” banana is far from being a no-strings-attached gift from nature. Its cheerful appearance hides a fatal flaw— one that threatens its proud place in the grocery basket. The banana’s problem can be summed up in a single word: sex.

The banana plant is a hybrid, originating from the mismatched pairing of two South Asian wild plant species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Between these two products of nature, the former produces unpalatable fruit flesh, and the latter is far too seedy for enjoyable consumption. Nonetheless, these closely related plants occasionally cross-pollinate and spawn seedlings which grow into sterile, half-breed banana plants. Some ten thousand years ago, early human experimenters noted that some of these hybridized Musa bore unexpectedly tasty, seedless fruit with an unheard-of yellowness and inexplicably amusing shape. They also proved an excellent source of carbohydrates and other important nutrients.

Despite the hybrid’s unfortunate sexual impotence, shrewd would-be agriculturalists realized that the plants could be cultivated from suckering shoots and cuttings taken from the underground stem. The genetically identical progeny produced this way remained sterile, yet the new plant could be widely propagated with human help. An intensive and prolonged process of selective breeding—aided by the variety of hybrids and occasional random genetic mutations—eventually evolved the banana into its present familiar form. Arab traders carried these new wonderfruit to Africa, and Spanish conquistadors relayed them onwards to the Americas. Thus the tasty new banana was spared from an otherwise unavoidable evolutionary dead-end.




Also, contrary to what is claimed in the article, those "evil fruit corporations" are working hard to facilitate the sexual reproduction of the fruit in order to create more genetic variety and hopefully more disease resistance.


Opinions differ on how long the Cavendish can survive the new onslaught, and on the best way to tackle the threat. This time, unfortunately, there is no obvious back-up variety waiting in the wings. So far, banana science has provided scant few approaches for improving disease resistance. One method involves the traditional techniques of selective breeding: although banana plants are clones, very occasionally they can be persuaded to produce seeds through a painstaking process of hand pollination. Only one fruit in three hundred will produce a seed, and of these seeds only one in three will have the correct chromosomal configuration to allow germination. The seeds are laboriously extracted by straining tons of mashed fruit through fine meshes. Research stations in commercial banana growing countries, such as Honduras, engage large squads of banana sex workers for such tasks, and to screen the new plant varieties for favorable characteristics.

Damn Interesting.com

Natural News does a good job in keeping an eye on what is going on with GMO foods and the latest outrages from the FDA against organic farming but, sometimes their anti-corporation bias tends to get in the way of the good reporting. A little fact checking on their part would have shown that all bananas are clones and the result of intensive selective breeding and that their threatened status today is not the result of some massive corporate conspiracy.


Just because most every force in the world today seems to be out to crush the little guy doesn't mean that every problem we have is caused by some massive conspiracy.





edit on 6/5/11 by FortAnthem because: Just had to add the 300 banana vid.




posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 

Natural news likes to sell the products of its advertisers.
Of which there is no lack.


Day-O! Day_O!
Daylight come an me want to go home.
edit on 6/5/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:21 AM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Interesting! I never knew this about bananas.
Thanks for sharing.
Good to know that not EVERYTHING is a conspiracy, and I can go to sleep in peace tonight knowing that the evil bananas aren't out to get me.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:25 AM
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Some forms of cloning are not always bad. In the cases where they are taking ONLY cuttings and then planting them, and getting them to root again, that is no big deal. When they start injecting stuff and adding chemicals, then there I have problems with it.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:31 AM
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Natural News lying to further their agenda? I never thought that would happen[/sarcasm] While I have never voluntarily visited the site, every "news" article I have seen posted on this site from Natural News has been riddled with lies and half truths. Even the MSM is more truthful than Natural News, but because it is an alternative "news" site its word tends to get treated like gospel around these parts.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Natural News is one of my least favorite "news" sources. Of course, because they appeal to a few people's ideals/emotional triggers, their audience doesn't seem to question them. Just the same as the MSM.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by seeker11
reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Interesting! I never knew this about bananas.
Thanks for sharing.
Good to know that not EVERYTHING is a conspiracy, and I can go to sleep in peace tonight knowing that the evil bananas aren't out to get me.


Thank god I missed this one, if my uncle knew his bananas were evil (Let alone doctor 10 found out?) it would be the bloody end of the world!



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by FortAnthem
 

Natural news likes to sell the products of its advertisers.
Of which there is no lack.


Day-O! Day_O!
Daylight come an me want to go home.
edit on 6/5/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)


And your news sources don't have advertisements with questionable motives?

Wow dude Phage, you gotta share your source with me. I have been searching for a non-bias news outlet for years!!! This is huge!




posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:20 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 

I don't know of any either.
That's why I tend to ignore them and look for original sources.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:23 AM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


the real reason that cavendish banana is sold for human consuption is that wild bananas are almost inedible :

image link

its chock full of hard innedible [ to humans ] seeds

all cultivated bananas have been seedless mutant strains through out the history of banana cultivation



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:26 AM
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Natural News is joke. It is like watching Obama address the nation.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:46 AM
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I did a little digging and it seems there are a few sources of Gros Michel bananas left in the world, although it is hard to get your hands on them.



So you'll imagine our surprise when we saw Gros Michel bananas listed on the French Laundry's menu last week. (It looks like they've been popping up on the restaurant's menu for a while now.) We'd thought they were extinct, but at Thomas Keller's restaurant, they were puréed and served with the sorbet course. Did Keller & Co. somehow manage to resurrect the once-gone banana? We wouldn't put it past them! So we called them up and learned that their source is local fruit and vegetable supplier Cooks Company Produce, who must want to keep on tight lid on where they get these fancy-schmancy bananas — they didn't return our calls asking who grows the bananas for them. So we sniffed around a little because, honestly, we kind of wanted some for ourselves.

A 2008 posting on a banana message board (yes, there is such a thing) indicated that Gros Michels are being grown in Equador under the cultivar codename Seda. The post asserts, "These are the Gros Michels that survived the Panama Disease outbreak back in the day. We no longer export them." It goes on, "I think some of the California growers might have them ... " It seems that there are at least a few people out there with Gros Michel plants in their yards (like the person who shot the photo at right), and a 2008 article notes that growers in the Congo have been cultivating Gros Michels in small plots alongside plantains to create genetic diversity. Furthermore, a CHOWhounder mentions that Gros Michels are being used by growers to hybridize a new disease-resistant banana.

So you see, folks! They're out there! And they've even made it to the wholesale level, at least in produce-blessed San Francisco.

SanFran Grubstreet

The only ones I could find online cost $39.00 plus $29.00 shipping and handling on E-bay. I don't know if tasting an "extinct" banana is worth that much.


There is considerable debate about whether it really tastes much better than our current bananas but, the fact that banana producers held on to their Gros Michel supply lines until the very end, only grudgingly switching over to the Cavendish after they had nearly gone bankrupt says to me that they thought the Cavendish was an inferior breed.

This guy seems to think they taste a lot better:



I wish I had the money to blow on something like that, I would really like to taste one someday. I'm sure if I did, my wife would kill me for wasting that much money on a piece of fruit.
edit on 6/5/11 by FortAnthem because:



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:20 AM
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all species of bananas are sterile and only continue to exist today through human cultivation through a system of cloning. If it weren't for human intervention the banana would have ceased to exist almost as soon as it came into being.



which raises the question how the hell the banana came into being ?

if you add that :

1. the banana presents an amazing combination of vitamin & nutriment that fits pretty much perfectly human needs
2. so easy to collect and eat... no need to wash or anything

it's now even harder not to think that the banana was engineered in the first place...

next questions : when and by who ?





edit on 5-6-2011 by XmikaX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 05:58 AM
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reply to post by XmikaX
 


sign - not all bananas are sterile - only the strains cultivated for human consumption are sterile



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 07:21 AM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


and how does that statement make the eatable banana properties a lesser mystery ?



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by XmikaX
 



The banana plant is a hybrid, originating from the mismatched pairing of two South Asian wild plant species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

Between these two products of nature, the former produces unpalatable fruit flesh, and the latter is far too seedy for enjoyable consumption.

Nonetheless, these closely related plants occasionally cross-pollinate and spawn seedlings which grow into sterile, half-breed banana plants.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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There are many varieties of bananas, and people use them all the time for cooking. Purple ones, black ones, brown ones, green ones, short ones, fat ones, and of course the all time favorite the Chiquita variety!

It is not unusual to clone plants. Think about the Almond, a form of peach that was so deadly by way of cyanide that no one dare eat them; however, someone noticed their goats eating from one particular tree, and sure enough the Almond we know today was born, from that "one" tree! Currently there is only one variety that I know of that is "self-pollinating" the rest require multiple plantings in order to reproduce. .



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by Greensage
 



however, someone noticed their goats eating from one particular tree, and sure enough the Almond we know today was born, from that "one" tree! Currently there is only one variety that I know of that is "self-pollinating" the rest require multiple plantings in order to reproduce. .


I am not too well versed in ancient consumption of drupes, but given that almonds are mentioned in the bible, and also have been found in ancient Egypt... I have a hard time believing it was one farmer and one tree.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I agree, but our Modern version is from just one stock!

I do love when archeology shows that primitives had just as many niceties as we do! Take Cannabis for instance! LOL (did i say that out loud) Shame on me!

I best stick with Bananas!



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 06:32 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by muzzleflash
 

I don't know of any either.
That's why I tend to ignore them and look for original sources.


That's such a great answer actually.

I guess that's why I keep saying you are so awesome lol.

You are one of the only people who have actually answered that question with such grace and skill.


And I agree with your assessment wholeheartedly.



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