Banana by Dan Koeppel

banana

Originally published in: 2007

What it’s about: I’m here to sadly report that the banana is at risk of dying off. Current practices aren’t sustainable and a suitable replacement has yet to be found or created. In the meantime the bad fungi are taking out this slow to evolve fruit.

What made me pick it up: Well I’d heard about this banana problem and wanted to learn more. Also it is a book about bananas. And I needed a new audiobook.

My favorite parts: Learning so much history of the banana. Like that we don’t have the good tasting one (that one died off when our grandparents were young). That they are hard to reproduce. That GMOing might be the only way to create a sustainable new banana. And most importantly that much of the developed world subsists on these. If we lose them, yes our smoothies will be a tad more boring but people will starve. People are already starting this process in parts of Africa losing their bananas.

My least favorite parts: There is a lot in here that is uncomfortable to downright despicable about Big Ag and American power in the developing world which will rightfully disgust you. I’m not sure if the right course of action is to boycott bananas or keep buying them, but it is clear something needs to change.

Who its great for: Trivia nerds. Banana lovers. History, agriculture, and food science geeks.

Erica’s rating: four shells


Find this in your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).