Bananas in Jeopardy

There’s one banana slowly rotting on my kitchen counter. If I get around to it, I’m going to make my favorite fruit cake – not one of those lurid red-and-green-cherry things but a cranberry quick bread with oranges, bananas, dates, and lots of walnuts. I made it for a Christmas party once long ago, and a young man followed me around all evening: “This is incredible! How did you make this? What’s in this?” Here is the link for Cranberry Date Bread.

But the reason I thought of that banana wasting away on the kitchen counter is an article by Johann Hari on January 8, 2009’s Huffington Post, about the end of bananas. How could that be? First it’s the end of our basic foodstuffs – as corn, soy (okay not so basic), tomatoes and many other products appeared in their genetically engineered forms on grocery shelves everywhere. Then it was the silence of the bees and colony collapse disorder, endangering honey production and pollination (see The Silence of the Bees from our August 2007 issue). Now Mr. Hari reports that bananas are suseptible to a fungus that renders them hard and inedible. Hari also details the cruel, unsavory history of the banana (you’ve heard of banana republic?) Read Why Bananas Are a Parable for Our Time.

Yikes, now I really will have to make that cake. I don’t want to waste the banana. Recipe to come, I promise.