Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Depressing Videos About Edibles

I seem to keep stumbling upon YouTube videos that leave me feeling discouraged and depressed about the uphill battles faced by both commercial growers and backyard gardeners.  I was introduced to this first video while visiting Gardening Along the Creek:

I don't often make political comments on this blog, but I can't refrain from stating that I believe without a shadow of a doubt that taking 47% of a farmer's crop without compensating the farmer is wrong.

The next depressing video is about Cavendish bananas - the type of banana that we all eat today (and is also, surprisingly, WalMart's #1 selling product!).  Until sixty-plus years ago we ate a type of banana called Gros Michel but it was wiped out by a fungal pathogen which caused Panama Disease.  And now, apparently, that pathogen has developed a strain that affects the Cavendish and could destroy the world's crop if we don't find a way to stop Panama Disease first.

And how about Citrus Greening which started killing citrus trees in Florida in 2005 and has now infected nearly half the trees in the state and has spread to many other states?  Have you heard of this?

This issue has literally hit quite close to home as it now spreading in California and could soon arrive in my own backyard according to this article in the New York Times.

And if all those don't make you cranky enough, how about fears that our coffee beans are at stake thanks to Coffee Leaf Rust?  There are several good articles on this topic on the internet but this one from the Atlantic does a nice job at pointing out the paradox of how organic coffee might, in this case, be doing more harm than good for coffee plants as a whole.  

I am thankful for the smart people out there that are working on solutions for these problems.  Hopefully some of them will have some good news to share with us in the coming years.


  1. Unfortunately, the solutions often become new problems. Insects, bacteria and fungal diseases will always evolve faster than more complex organisms -- so growing monocultures of the same plant and spraying them with chemicals to kills the pests (or splicing pest-killing genes into the food crop) simply breeds checmical-resistant super-pests. -Jean

  2. All I can say is my weeds are doing fine. Of course purslane isn't a banana, but what is?

  3. Makes one really feel for the farmers. The raisin story really floored me.

  4. Chad, I wasn't aware of any of this. Farming has never been an easy life and the raisin issue is criminal.

    I also hope there will be good news in the future.