There’s been stories in the news for the last few years about the pending demise of the fruit we’ve come to know as a banana. The Cavendish banana, which is the variety you are used to finding in the grocery store, is suffering from some serious genetic and disease related problems and there are fears that the fruit could become extinct within a decade. Thankfully we’ve got people like the researchers in Japan who just created a whole new type of banana, one that even allows you to eat the peel!
The call it the Mongee banana, and while the new fruit is apparently delicious, it is also selling for $6 a piece. That’s a fortune compared to the current bananas, which you can usually six for a dollar.
The bananas were created using what’s called the freeze thaw awakening method. Basically, instead of treating bananas like they would be treated in a typical tropical environment, they cultivate the banana trees at negative 76 degrees before transferring them to an 80 degrees environment. AS a result, the plant’s growth is slammed into high gear and the fruit matures before the skin has a chance to become thick and inedible.
The use of the temperature manipulation has given them the ability to create a new variety without genetic manipulation or chemicals. In fact, they say that the Mongee bananas have more zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, tryptophan, and sugar than the bananas you cut up in your cereal.
While the price is currently too high to take the place of the cavendish, as more farmers adopt the new technique, you can expect to see supply skyrocket as the cost comes down.