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Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

Banana The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World A gripping biological detective story that uncovers the myth mystery and endangered fate of the world s most humble fruit To most people a banana is a banana a simple yellow fruit Americans eat ban

  • Title: Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
  • Author: Dan Koeppel
  • ISBN: 9781594630385
  • Page: 367
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A gripping biological detective story that uncovers the myth, mystery, and endangered fate of the world s most humble fruit To most people, a banana is a banana a simple yellow fruit Americans eat bananas than apples and oranges combined In others parts of the world, bananas are what keep millions of people alive But for all its ubiquity, the banana is surprisingA gripping biological detective story that uncovers the myth, mystery, and endangered fate of the world s most humble fruit To most people, a banana is a banana a simple yellow fruit Americans eat bananas than apples and oranges combined In others parts of the world, bananas are what keep millions of people alive But for all its ubiquity, the banana is surprisingly mysterious nobody knows how bananas evolved or exactly where they originated Rich cultural lore surrounds the fruit In ancient translations of the Bible, the apple consumed by Eve is actually a banana it makes sense, doesn t it Entire Central American nations have been said to rise and fall over the banana But the biggest mystery about the banana today is whether it will survive A seedless fruit with a unique reproductive system, every banana is a genetic duplicate of the next, and therefore susceptible to the same blights Today s yellow banana, the Cavendish, is increasingly threatened by such a blight and there s no cure in sight Banana combines a pop science journey around the globe, a fascinating tale of an iconic American business enterprise, and a look into the alternately tragic and hilarious banana subculture one does exist ultimately taking us to the high tech labs where new bananas are literally being built in test tubes, in a race to save the world s most beloved fruit.

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      Published :2019-02-06T05:53:20+00:00

    1 thought on “Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

    1. Cruel enemies are stalking the world’s bananas and have been for decades. Who knew? Apparently Dan Koeppel. He has tracked not only the diseases that wiped out the every-day, Gros Michel, banana in the 1930s, but has an eye out for the Panama disease that is wiping out the Cavendish banana, that is, the one that we see today in every supermarket and fruit stand. There is yet another mortal enemy to the banana in the world, called Sigatoka. And the up and coming threat is from a disease called [...]

    2. Do you ever get to the middle of a book and think to yourself, Why on earth am I reading this? I generally manage to avoid this feeling by choosing my reading material wisely, but this one managed to slip through somehow.Bananas. Do I care? Sort of.I found about half of this book to be incredibly interesting. The political implications of banana production, the fact that the banana as we know it may soon cease to exist altogether, a bit of banana history - these are the parts that managed to hol [...]

    3. Bananas on BenniesI’m a big fan of “commodity histories” -- books on how everyday objects and products have become interwoven into our daily lives. It's odd that while many educated Americans know the year the Titanic sank, for example, scarcely any of them know the provenance of the items on their breakfast table – the coffee in their cup or the banana sliced onto their cornflakes. And this is a shame, really, for it’s quotidian details as much as major events that shape our lives. It [...]

    4. Rating: 3* of fiveThis is yet another entry in the single-subject world of non-fiction. The narrowness of focus in books such as Salt and Cod and The Book on the Bookshelf and The Pencil and Longitude seems to be an increasingly preevalent trend in publishing. I am all for it on one level, since I like delving into the abstruse and wallowing in details that leave most people I know colder than a penguin's butt in the middle of the Antarctic winter; but on another level, I want to stop these publ [...]

    5. I loved looking at history through banana-colored lenses. Dan Koeppel did a really nice work here. He did a lot of research, went around the world to interview experts, and managed to write a book that focuses on the history and science of the banana. The book kept my interest quite high from beginning to end. The structure / organization is not linear at all, it would be best visualized with a firework explosion, but in a sense it works even better this way: it's like sitting down in a pub with [...]

    6. A review (with digressions) for people considering this as a book club choiceAvoiding responsibility, like lying, should be practiced even when not strictly necessary if one really wishes to stay at the top of one's game. Still, the inability to bi-locate leads to occasional and unavoidable assignment of responsibility in one's absence, like when the book club (while I was at work) recently assigned me to choose a book for the coming reading season. Perhaps my real error occurred days earlier, w [...]

    7. This is one of the most fascinating books I've read recently.This book covers the history -- and future! -- of the humble banana. It starts with its beginnings in Asia, its geographic and evolutionary progressing, and the arrival of the banana to America.Bananas are incredible: the popular ones have no seed, and reproduce asexually. Since they're all genetically identical, they are very susceptible to disease. In fact, today's banana (the Cavendish) wasn't the first popular banana in the US. Tha [...]

    8. This is a really disappointing book. It got lots of glowing reviews, but I was consistently frustrated by it. It is poorly written, sloppily researched, randomly organized, simplistically argued. The book's most egregious fault is that it hints at interesting and important ideas on the biological, political, economic, and social impact of the rise of the banana industry, but the author never bothers to develop these. There are lots of interesting tidbits and suggestive ideas, but they never amou [...]

    9. If you liked the book "Salt" you will probably find this book just as engrossing. There's more in here about corporate and pan-American politics than I expected on first hearing about the book, and I really enjoyed reading it. The reasons why bananas are threatened with global extinction despite being one of the most successful agricultural crops are fascinating, and chilling.Koeppel does a great job of simplifying the science and getting right to the heart of the matter.

    10. I really want to read this but $13.99 for an ebook about fruit? No.That being said, the sample was fascinating. Bananas are cloned so that they can be grown seedless. And banana crops are in danger of dying out because they are cloned. What does this all mean for the future of human cloning? Oh the drama. I want more!

    11. Bananas have been coming up in my life a lot lately - I've decided they're the wonder food for biking. A guy at work has been sharing lots of banana factoids. So I'm predisposed to like reading about bananas.And the first hundred pages or so were really interesting. I had no idea that before 1870, Americans didn't eat bananas at all. Then bananas exploded on the scene faster than Gangnam-style. United Fruits (Chiquita) and Standard Fruits (Dole) were ruthless robber barons that made the era of r [...]

    12. 23rd - 2012Jadi, Saudara-saudara sekalian, pohon pengetahuan yang terlarang di surga itu bukan pohon apel. Tapi pisang. Ulangi kata-kata saya, PI-SANG! Hanya karena kesalahan penerjemahan bibel saja membuat orang awam jadi mengira buah yang menggoda Hawa itu adalah buah apel. Kalau saja tidak ada kesalahan intrepretasi itu, pasti lagu Anita Sarawak yang populer itu akan berjudul Tragedi Buah Pisang.Dan buku ini, Saudara-Saudara yang budiman, memang bukan hanya bercerita tentang sejarah pohon dan [...]

    13. I read this because it was offered to me for three bucks, and I decided I was three bucks worth of interested in bananas. How interested in bananas are you? That is the central question. I feel like a review of this book is sort of unnecessary. It is about the cultivation and worldwide spread of bananas, the troubled history of big banana companies and the nasty things they did in Latin America, and the threats plaguing banana crops today. Wanna know about bananas? Here you go.

    14. I first gave this attention thinking that it was about the delicious food that I've always enjoyed and that my wife, who is from the Philippines, must have at least one daily.I got the story that I was expected on the botany/food level; but it was much more. It gave the story of corporate imperialism where countries and governments were conquered.

    15. This was like reading a freaking textbook. I had a hard time reading it. I pushed through, but then it said the f-word, so I stopped right there. I don't care THAT much about bananas. Don't read it unless you do.

    16. This book was full of interesting facts about the history of the banana. Wow, is there ever a lot to learn about the banana! It's the 4th largest crop grown in the world, after wheat, rice and corn. The author claims it is the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (translations in Hebrew and from the Koran). Banana boats - with their built-in cooling rooms to preserve the bananas - were the first Carribean cruise ships in the 1920s.The most alarming thing I learned was that the type banana we no [...]

    17. It's hard for me to understand people who, in their reviews, throw this book to the proverbial wolves. Some readers are disappointed that it's not narrative enough or doesn't go deep enough into the politics, and a lot of people seem frustrated with the way the book is organized. Perhaps it's not perfect, but this is clearly a thoughtfully researched, accessible and meaningful book, and one that illustrates unwaveringly and yet compassionately and without evangelical fervor, the dangers of our w [...]

    18. Koeppel's book is not bad, but it's also not great. I think the premise and the detail were well formed and Koeppel made the book incredible approachable and readable (although I loed Kurlansky's "Salt," it was no where near as readable or digestible). However, there were a few problems. First, the book is poorly organized. It jumped from topic to topic, would focus in on Koeppel himself, and in the last 1/5 of the book was nothing but setting the agenda for how GMOs aren't bad. Although Koeppel [...]

    19. Entertaining history of the banana's checkered past. Banana's are the world's #1 most popular fruit (far outstripping apples), and even more notable because they are all genetically identical (today: the Cavandish, prior to 1950, the Gros Michael). It's quite remarkable that bananas are cheaper than apples, considering that bananas are a highly perishable fruit that only grows in tropical regions and has to be shipped in at great speed in refrigerated vessels.United Fruit and Standard Fruit (tod [...]

    20. This is a book about banana's. Just thought I would put that out there as I saw reviews by people that were upset that this book was about banana's. Guess they thought it was the latest Lee Child novel or perhaps a Harlequin romance novel (let your imagination run wild with that one). Being a father of four curtain climbers, and a large consumer of banana's, I found the book very interesting and easy to read. It was a lot of fun gathering strange facts about banana's (for instance the banana is [...]

    21. Basically, bananas run the world. Who knew? I liked that the author was willing to keep things interesting even at the cost of uneven chapter lengths and sudden transitions. If a banana-related topic was veering into boring territory, he was not afraid to move on.Good thing most banana-related topics are interesting! Also, I learned the following from this book, and I consider it to be the most mind-blowing fact I've learned from a book this year (at least):"The Philippines also grow several clo [...]

    22. I came across this book several times in the public library, and every time my thought was exactly the same, "How the hell can bananas be interesting enough for an entire book?"Every time I came across it again (small library)"There's that damn banana book again. Fuck you, banana book. Stop clogging up my shelf."Finally one day I took the Banana Book Dare. I took it home to read it."Okay, banana book. She me whatcha got. Justify your pages."I stand corrected. It was fascinating. I only wish I ha [...]

    23. Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of the banana and were afraid to ask. I love bananas and generally eat 1 each day and was sorry to read that there is a bad banana blight that is steadily killing off large areas of Cavendish bananas, which is the kind you find in stores. The blight is actually a difficult to fight fusarium fungus.

    24. This is a good book if you want to know about Chiquita, but not Dole. If you want to know a lot about genetic modification and plant resistance. It's not a great book to read if you already have a cursory knowledge of the conspiracies between the US government and banana companies and their century of subjugating Central American regimes.

    25. This is a very accesible and enjoyable read about the checkered history, perplexing science and dirty politics of the banana. Great gift for the bananaphile in you life.

    26. Koeppel is pretty passionate about bananas. Even though he wasn’t at all trying to be funny, there were times that I found myself snickering because just – this dude LOVES BANANAS. And you can tell that even he is surprised at how much he likes them. He read an article about the banana blight in 2003, and then pitched the idea of writing a more in-depth article for Popular Science. While traveling to do the research for that article, he found himself completely enthralled by the culture and [...]

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