[Ebook] Banana The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World By Dan Koeppel – serv3.3pub.co.uk

[Ebook] Banana The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World By Dan Koeppel – serv3.3pub.co.uk ➚ [KINDLE] ❄ Banana The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World By Dan Koeppel ➤ – Serv3.3pub.co.uk 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 banana A gripping biological detective story Fate of PDF Í 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 ubiuity the banana Banana The PDF \ 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 The Fate of PDF/EPUB ¿ is whether it will survive A seedless fruit with a uniue 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 The Fate of the Fruit PDF or 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.

10 thoughts on “Banana The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

  1. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    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 Bunchy Top which sounds like a character from Sesame Street or Carrot Top’s heftier cousin than a lethal virus No one knows what effect it might have on our ability to add some slices of the world’s favorite fruit and fourth largest crop to our morning cereal image from the NY Times by Vincent Tullo There is a lot to learn about the impact of the banana on the world And I would bet that all or surely most of it is in this book Banana was a fun educational and often surprising read There is a lot of information to take in and while you may know some of the info here it is certain that there is a bunch you do not Did you know that the banana tree isn’t properly a tree but a very large herb? Neither did I Or that the bananas we eat are considered berries? Say it ain’t so How about the notion that the banana was the fruit referred to in ancient texts about the Garden of Eden The climate in the Fertile Crescent was not conducive to apples And there is some softness in the translations of ancient writings The forbidden fruit was called a fig which is also what the banana was called And really doesn’t it seem a fitting shape for the job? Which makes it all the ironic that bananas are essentially asexual They do not breed The fruit we eat today came from cloned plants Mass consumption bananas have always come from plants that do not propagate themselves but reuire man’s intervention There is a hybrid grown in Asia that is high in beta carotene promising an easier way to get vitamin A into picky children Koeppel even traces the linguistic trail of the banana as it made its way around the world noting similarities in local names for the fruit in diverse languages He peels back the layers of time to reveal the banana’s place in history Latin America is prime here with many tales of corrupt agricultural corporations such as United Fruit now Chiuita and their machinations against local governments He also points out that many technological advances arose from the need to transport this perishable product long distances in a short time So you get the idea lots of info about something most of us never gave well a fig about It is a fun read and you will find yourself saying or thinking if you don’t want to make the person next to you on the subway slowly edge away “I did not know that” Given that there are existential threats abroad to the common banana and that we are not yet ready with a cross bred version that is resistant to those threats we should probably do what we can to appreciate the banana before itumsplitsMarch 14 2017 This article from Wired is worth checking out Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon It’ll Be Gone by Rob DunnAugust 4 2017 NY Times Annie Correal pulls back the veil that has long hidden the banana's journey from freighter to table The Secret Life of the City Banana Don't let this article slip pastJune 1 2018 but first seen 31719 Aeon Bananas have died out once before – don’t let it happen again by Jackie Turner

  2. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 3 of five2019 UPDATE Climate change bids fair to deprive us of a childhood icon says this bookOne step closer to realityThis 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 publishers before they bore again with books inadeuately edited and organizedThere are three pieces to the bananathe history of humanity's first cultivated plant modern evidence from New Guinea shows human cultivation from 9000 years ago was of bananas but for their corms not the fingers we eat today; the politics of the modern cultivation of the banana the term banana republic which I have used without thinking for 30 years has a very literal beginning and a scarily modern ring; and the future of humankind's most basic and widely distributed food crop essential to survival in several parts of the world the banana is also under threat from several pests that defy modern chemistry to abate still less conuer and sueamish food o phobes in wealthy countries oppose all modern genetic engineering that could save the survival crop of many parts of the world These three strands are awkwardly interwoven with no obvious guiding editorial hand to make sense of their interrelation It's a shame too because this is a huge important topic and the author's not inconsiderable talents are well used in bringing the facts to light The loss of our American favorite banana the Cavendish from grocery shelves will be an inconvenience at most; the fact that two major American corporations are double handedly is that a word? responsible for the spread of the blights that threaten the world crop with the complicity of the American government should mean that we as a country are liable to find solutions to the pressing problems of food security in the places we've so screwed over Free But that won't happen you can bet on thatBack to the booktoo much narrative drive is lost in the author's back and forth cross cutting of the basic story I wish someone had said Yo Danfirst third of the book is the banana as a plant; second third is the politics of the banana; last is the science of the plant I wonder if that was what they tried and the interconnections of all the information prevented its success? I somehow don't think soIt's a good enough book on an important topic that SHOULD cause each person who reads it some discomfort at our societal callousness and myopia I recommend it to those most likely to be irritated by progressive politics and social liberalism Isolationists particularly encouraged to apply

  3. Sarah Jane Sarah Jane says:

    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 somehowBananas Do I care? Sort ofI 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 hold my attention The very meticulous accounts of every aspect of banana breeding and cross breeding and growing and on and on and on I can do without I admit I had to skim through some of it and I never skim unless I feel like I'm wasting my time I wont say do not read this book but I will say do not read this book unless you are terribly interested in bananas andor horticulture It just wasn't my thing and I usually get really into books about food Ah well

  4. Kay Kay says:

    Bananas on Bennies I’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 uotidian details as much as major events that shape our lives It turns out that bananas have a fascinating back story What a disappointment then that this book falls short of doing it justice I’d rate Bananas two and a half stars – I enjoyed the subject matter but was often irritated at author Dan Koeppel’s manner of telling it His book bore a curious resemblance to the Cavendish banana that’s almost the sole variety consumed in the US and Europe by the way a product packaged for popular consumption a little bland and inoffensive It’s a pity really for I’d love to see such a uirky subject handled with verve but Koeppel seemed intent on watering it down for the massesThe book also suffers from a strange sort of bibliographic ADD it can’t seem to focus on any subject for than a few pages Now I know that weaving back and forth between several narrative threads is de rigueur these days but Koeppel goes to extremes The 241 page central story is broken up into thirty six chapters some a mere three pages long The result is an overly choppy jittery narrative with capricious seuencing For example Chapter 12 which focuses on the ambitious rise of banana entrepreneur Samuel Zemurray is followed by a three page exposition on Tin Pan Alley and the genesis of the song “Yes We Have No Bananas” Then willy nilly Koeppel treats us to another short three page discourse this time on the spread of that bane of banana plantations Panama disease Chop chop chop On and on it goes jerking back and forth among narrative threads some of which are only peripheral to the two major components of the story either of which would have been a book in its own rightThese two aspects are the political and the agricultural I was familiar with the latter having read an interesting article in The New Yorker in December 2010 on the spread of a devastating fungus that is jeopardizing the world’s supply of what has become a monoculture the Cavendish banana However I was less familiar with the fruit’s political history and in particular the rise of the “banana republics” This part of the story has been dealt with in several other books which is perhaps why the author chose to hedge his bets and include material on the efforts of banana breeders and genetic engineers to come up with a disease resistant and marketable successor to the Cavendish bananaI was less than enad with Koeppel’s style a combination of pedestrian prose and forced attempts at humor often with a creepy confiding tone There were some cutesy metaphors I could have done without such as when he likens gene splicing to splicing together reels of film producing “the best ualities of both Rhett Butler played by Harrison Ford and Scarlet O’Hara with a cinnamon bun hairstyle” Come again? Do I need that image in my mind as I slog through the details of gene splicing? Or for that matter do I need this?“I remember the first time I ever understood that the retelling of ordinary events could become magic I a teenager just beginning to write searching for inspiration I’d always loved books about other worlds – science fiction Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan series even old pulp novels I bought at a local junk shop But it had only recently begun to occur to me that the greatest constructed worlds could be found in works that were considered to be ‘true’ literature That point was made most sharply with Gabriel Garcia Maruez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude”This is how the author leads with his arse into a discussion of the “banana massacre” in Colombia in 1928 when the United Fruit Company violently put down a strike Now I just have to say that there are writers who can pull this sort of indulgent reminiscence off but Koeppel isn’t one of them Last but not least I wish Koeppel had used footnotes to cite his source material I suppose he deemed them too “academic” for the average reader or something Instead his sources both major and minor are dropped into the narrative with an audible CLUNK –“Because Panama disease was permanently making fallow so much of its existing holdings the fruit companies had a continuous need for new land according to John Soluri author of Banana Cultures Agriculture Consumption and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States” Ultimately I have to say the reason I finished the book at all was that I began enjoying rewriting it in my head There's some champion material here but the writing is lackluster and the organization is downright addled

  5. Tom LA Tom LA says:

    Wow This is a Feb 2019 update I just read an article that confirms that the banana is at great risk I thought the author of this book was trying to give a dramatic spin to his work but apparently it’s all very serious Here is the article —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 uite 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 one of the top experts on bananas getting him completely drunk and listening to him rant away The result is a narrative that jumps around gets distracted goes back has sudden moments of humor and unexpectedly moving paragraphs but it all kind of fits together nicely I really liked it that way Despite the large amount of facts and trivia the book is a light read The author tried to infuse this work with an overarching drama which is a banana blight that is tearing through banana crops worldwide This is a fact however there seem to be some solutions in place and at least several alternatives In any case some chapters end with sentences like this is why the banana you eat today might be the last of its kind you eat Ever Hilarious But please go on Bring us another one of whatever this guy is drinking Koeppel spent many chapters on the history of United Fruit the modern Chiuita I knew it was a history of violent colonialism but I didn't know to what extent The history of the banana republics of Honduras Guatemala Panama etc is fascinating dark and disturbing Guatemala in particular with the CIA orchestrated conspiracy coup that was very much related to United Fruit and bananasOne minor flaw the focus seems to be almost entirely on American bananas and their history only a little bit on South East Asia and almost nothing on Africa The book would have been complete if it expanded a bit on Africa and what the fruit meant for African history too In the end the author recommends us to buy fair trade bananas to help plantation workers and he gives us a bit background without pushing that agenda too much

  6. David David says:

    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 when I mentioned to the Long Suffering Wife LSW a fellow book club member that the book club's list of potential reads never included the micro history a genre of which I am very fond Sometimes on long car trips with LSW we compete for who can make up the absurdest micro history title following the pattern “X The Y that Changed the World” where X is the name of an object and Y is the category to which the object belongs I remember suggesting XMauve and then found out later there is really a book about this proving that politics is not the only endeavor where satire has become obsoleteSo LSW came home from book club with the suspiciously pat story that my name had been drawn “randomly” to choose a book for book club in the category micro history My desire to avoid responsibility warred valiantly with my much formidable desire not to cross LSW who can be very fierce if provoked I tell you from hard experience I decided that choosing a micro history was unavoidable LSW reported that members of the book club had never heard of micro histories What cave do readers like this live in? She sold the book club on the novel idea of micro histories by emphasizing the sub genre of micro histories called “commodity micro histories” Mark Kurlansky is a well known and persistent practitioner of this genre with books on cod oysters salt and most recently paper There are also popular micro histories from other authors of alcohol milk chocolate coffee at least two tea vanilla eels opium diamonds uranium oranges tomatoes cotton caviar olives olive oil sugar and pencils A cousin to this genre is the micro history on man made constructs and other non commodities including but not limited to home cleanliness color reading marriage wives but interestingly not husbands cancer rabies sex zero infinity rats swearing corpses and many But my favorite genre is the history micro history where a single event spiders out in all directions often with interesting unintended conseuences The most famous and best selling of this genre is probably the history of the decades long race to correctly determine longitude but there are many historical events that have received a fine treatment including the sinking of the Lusitania the assassination of President James Garfield the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 17th century Tulip mania the eruption of Krakatoa the mad bomber of 1950's Manhattan murders too numerous to mention individually and my sentimental favorite the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919But LSW warned that however endearingly enthusiastic I am about the topic other book group members were unlikely to find the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 as compelling a topic since we are sadly a long long way from Boston in the company of people who in a few inexplicable cases have not even visited Boston Also she reminded me she sold the idea to the book group mostly through examples of commodity micro histories see aboveHaving narrowed down the options that far I was faced with the vexing uestion I ask myself several times a day “What would a normal person do?” I mean I'd happily read 400 pages about pencils but I've noticed that other people might think that was a waste of time Many of these same people might have no compunction about spending hours on the details of the lives of the latest no talent celebrity or selfish aristocrat but that's off topic So short is good The shortest microhistory I've found is John McPhee's 1967 book on oranges which is really a long New Yorker article somehow padded out to 160 pages for publication Still it's 50 years old and felt that the book club might want something of recent vintageLife is somewhat vexed and full of anguish at this moment in our history so I felt the book club would look favorably on a book that might generate cheerful conversation while everybody was pounding back the Merlot This ruled out for example the microhistory about uranium I really enjoyed the audiobook version but a lot of it I remember was about people suffering terribly in mines Then of course once the stuff gets above ground things get really grim what with nuclear weapons and all Seeing as how nuclear weapons once thought a fading threat are now making an unwelcome re appearance in people's nightmares I thought the members of the book group would welcome the opportunity to get away from all that Bananas are cheerful This is noted even in the book itself finally getting to the actual book in uestion which includes a remarkably informative chapter on the 1922 Tin Pan Alley novelty hit “Yes We Have No Bananas” and yet another one devoted to slipping on a banana peel as classic movie sight gag Since the book's publication in 2008 the banana has continued to provide comic fodder as the favorite foodconversation topicgo to any occasion utterance of the yellow pill shaped Minions of lucrative movie and associated licensing fameStill the book group cannot be exclusively unicorns and rainbows Some grit and adversity is reuired to generate conversation Bananas – and this book – have that as well As the precious few readers who have persisted this far and I thank you might well be aware bananas here I uote LSW “have not had sex for a long time” meaning they haven't reproduced in the traditional way yielding a world wide monoculture of delicious and easy to transport fruit Sadly things bite back as in this case when it was only a matter of time before a banana blight bred itself into existence and roared through the near identical genetic population leaving a swath of useless and distinctly unfunny brown rotting plants in its wakeAs a result there is controversy to discuss since a savior for the banana may come in the form of genetically modified organisms GMOs Normally I refrain from discussing this topic because well I am a liberal in the American political sense and like all of us now tend to socialize with the like minded While we are all uick to condemn American conservatives as science deniers and crackpot conspiracy theories on global warming discussing GMOs seems to be our side's opportunity to engage in similar behavior We can condemn all who think that genetic manipulation could actually improve our food supply and security to perdition as lackeys of the world wide mostache twirling Monsanto led patented seed hawking agro industrial conspiracy evidence be damned Since I hold people who generally agree with me to a higher level of intellectual rigor that people who don't generally agree with me who must be idiots right? I tend to want to abuse to people like this This tendency is stronger when the tongue is loosened by Merlot as I fear it will be at the book club But I think if I just put some Post ItTM Notes on my Kindle I bring to the club saying something like “Don't be rude to ill informed” I'll probably be able to control myself To be fair I also want to point out that anti GMO zealots can be useful in their incorrectness since it seems reasonable that private enterprises engaged in genetic manipulation can be expected to engage in safety be damned corner cutting in pursuit of the largest return for their shareholders so should be watched over by as many people as possible with a heartfelt adversarial relationship to the processAnyway I think I can hold it together at the book club in the face of opinions I disagree with because I am after all an adult at least physically I just shut my eyes and envision myself lying down in cool grass on a summer afternoon or alternately maybe buying and preparing chicken from Ottomanelli's in Greenwich Village both of which visions have historically produced a calm happy feeling in moments of stressSo in summary I think this book – did I mention that at this writing the Kindle e book is only 499 and used copies can be obtained for a mere 25 cents? – will hit the sweet spot for the book club in terms of length entertainment value and discussion potential after which I can go back to my usual practice which is studiously refusing to meet the gaze of anyone ever who asks for volunteers

  7. Bobscopatz Bobscopatz says:

    If you liked the book Salt you will probably find this book just as engrossing There's 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 chillingKoeppel does a great job of simplifying the science and getting right to the heart of the matter

  8. Ensiform Ensiform says:

    Random Read 23 HistoryA fascinating look at the history of the banana from its spread as a wild fruit across the globe to its cultivation and sale If you've never thought about bananas before this book will be a real eye opener Did you know that all bananas cultivated and sold by companies are sterile clones of each other? This is why they're so easily devastated by crop fungus such as Panama disease and Black Sigatoka and also why it's so difficult to breed resistant bananas they don't reproduce Did you know there are many varieties of banana such as the Gros Michel across the globe? Gros Michels taste pretty good but they aren't planted and sold on a massive scale any because they're so susceptible to disease Fun fact the song Yes We Have No Bananas is based on the fact that banana shortages were a common thing due to intermittent fungal destruction of banana crops The history of American banana cultivation is a cruel one exploitation of workers government intervention assassination clear cutting and land grabbing And since a century of doing things this way hasn't taught banana companies any lessons they continue to work this way plant crops until Panama disease or another rot infects that soil and then move to yet another razed section of land Writing in 2008 Koeppel believes that the banana most familiar to us the Cavendish is doomed in the near future just as the Gros Michel was dropped when disease nearly wiped it out He might be right But whether or not banana companies can continue with their exploitation model their history is enthralling The men who founded what would become Dole and Chiuita literally changed the world innovating refrigerated cargo ships and making an exotic tropical fruit as common and beloved as the American apple Yet as inventive and prescient as they were their colonial mindset blinded them to the dangers of short term dominance

  9. Joe Joe says:

    This is one of the most fascinating books I've read recentlyThis 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 AmericaBananas 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 That was the Gros Michel the Big Mike which arrived around the 1870's By the turn of the century Panama disease was wiping out huge areas of banana farms The companies decided that the best way to fight the disease actually a fungus was to stay ahead of it by consuming huge amounts of new land and to do that they used their money and political influence to get the US military to help them thus explaining the term Banana Republic The song Yes We Have No Bananas is said to be a reference to the banana shortages caused by the diseaseEventually around the 1950's banana producers switched over to the Cavendish The taste was good enough most say it wasn't uite as good although a few disagree it was shippable but not uite as sturdy as the Big Mike and most importantly it was resistant to Panama disease Something similar could happen today and so the author talks about attempts to develop new types of bananas that could replace the CavendishThe book doesn't just talk about the banana in the US it talks about its influence across the globe In some parts of the world people get 70% of the calories from the bananaIn short this book exceeded my expectations spectacularly I don't think it will have much re read value but it entertained me wonderfully this time

  10. Eric Eric says:

    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 amount to anything of substance I think bananas are a really intriguing and important product that could tell us a bunch intended about the interlinked character of twentieth century American imperialism and capitalism but this lazy book doesn't ever rise to the challenge

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