Bananas, A Storied Fruit With An Uncertain Future

Bananas

hide captionPopular Science writer Dan Koeppel researches the sexy, sordid history of the banana, from the Garden of Eden to the corporate wars in Central American.

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Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined. Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, gives us a primer on the expansive history — and the endangered future — of this seedless, sexless fruit.

Koeppel traces the ubiquitous yellow fruit back to the Garden of Eden, where, he argues, it, not the apple, was the "forbidden fruit" that Eve offered Adam.

In the 20th century, he examines the United Fruit Co.'s maneuvering in the "banana republics" of Central America, and warns that the banana's unique reproductive system — each new fruit is a genetic duplicate of the next — makes it especially susceptible to epidemics.

Books Featured In This Story

Banana
Banana

The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

by Dan Koeppel

Hardcover, 281 pages | purchase

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  • The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
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