In the vein of Mark Kurlansky’s bestselling Salt and Cod, a gripping chronicle of the myth, mystery, and uncertain fate of the world’s most popular fruit. Hudson Street Press, Paperback. Very Good / No Jacket. Item # ISBN: Paperback, very good, no jacket. Dan Koeppel, the author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World , says the international banana industry only has itself to.
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Dan Koeppel – Wikipedia
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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: Americans eat more bananas than apples banaan oranges combined. In others parts of the world, bananas are what keep millions of people alive.
But for banaan its ubiquity, the banana is surprising 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: 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 dna 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 koeppfl, in a race to save the world’s most beloved fruit.
Hardcoverpages. Published January 1st by Hudson Street Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Bananaplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Mar 01, Will Byrnes rated it really liked it Shelves: He has tracked not only the diseases that wiped out the every-day, Gros Michelbanana in the s, 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 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. Or that the bananas we eat are considered berries?
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 ean some softness in the translations of ancient writings. The forbidden fruit was called a bananz, which is also what the banana was called. Which makes it all the more ironic that bananas are essentially asexual.
They do not breed. The dna we eat today came from cloned plants. There is a bsnana 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. Latin America is prime here, with many tales of corrupt agricultural corporations, such as United Fruit now Chiquita 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.
Don’t let this article slip past. View all 54 comments. Aug 21, Sarah Jane rated it it was ok Shelves: 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. I found about half of this book to be incredibly interesting.
The political implications of banana production, the fact that the banana as bsnana know it may soon cease to exist altogether, a bit of banana history – these are the parts that managed to hol Do you ever get to the middle of a book and think to yourself, Why on earth am I reading this? 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. Mar 04, Kay rated it it was ok Shelves: 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.
It turns out that bananas have a fascinating back story. What a disappointment, then, that this book falls short of doing it justice.
The book also suffers from a strange sort of bibliographic ADD: Now I know that weaving back and forth between several narrative threads is de rigueur these days, but Koeppel goes to extremes. The page central story is broken up into thirty-six chapters, some a mere three pages long.
The result is banans overly choppy, jittery narrative with capricious sequencing.
On and on it goes, jerking back and forth among narrative threads, some of which are baana peripheral to the two major components of the story, either of which would have been a book in its own right. These two aspects are the political and the agricultural. Do I need that image in van mind as I slog through the details of gene splicing?
Or, for that matter, do I need this? I a teenager, just beginning to write, searching for inspiration. Last, but not least, I wish Koeppel had used footnotes to cite his source material. There’s some champion material here, but the writing is lackluster and the organization is downright addled. Dec 20, Richard Derus rated it liked it.
The narrowness of focus in ddan 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 kodppel 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 Rating: 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 inadequately edited and organized.
There are three pieces to the banana 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? But that dqn happen, you can bet on that.
Back to the book I wish someone had said, “Yo Dan I somehow don’t think so. It’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!
Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World – Dan Koeppel – Google Books
View all 4 comments. Mar 22, Twila marked it as to-read Shelves: View all 3 comments. Jan 06, Tom LA rated it really liked it. 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 bananz 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 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 koepppel kind you eat.
But please, go on!