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Edible bananas are set to disappear within the decade if there is no urgent action that is taken to develop new varieties that are resistant to blight. Most scientists have approximated that by the year 2025, species of bananas will disappear from the store shelves around the globe. In fact, it is critical to understand that there will be no fresh bananas (Schierwater 49). This will happen because, over the centuries, bananas can be said to be a huge victim of genetic tampering. In fact, most scientists are often unable to prevent the extermination of this species of banana as an edible commercial crop.
The main problem regarding bananas is that they have become sterile as well as seedless over the span of 10,000 years of selective breeding. For this reason, over time, they have become a plan of genetic sameness as well as the like fields of cones. According to the Darwin theory, there is a need for genetic diversity for a species to be able to cope with several environmental stresses such as crop pests and diseases.
However, this over the years has been bred out as farmers have been looking for the best breed of banana. Consequently, it is critical to understand that indeed the banana plantations in the world are all vulnerable to the different and diverse environmental pressures. In factor, according to Emile Frison, science is nearly helpless when it comes to the prevention of the eventual demise of the banana plant. This is because, currently, around 50% of the entire world’s banana harvests are often lost to disease and insects (Schierwater 37).
Consequently, insects and disease can be said to be indeed the biggest threat to the banana population in the world. This is because when there is the formation of one disease or the evolution of a certain germ in insects. The banana fields in the world will be wiped out before researchers can be able to find a preventive way. This is the reason as to why the banana plantations in the world are extremely vulnerable to devastating environmental pressures.
It is critical to recognize that when humankind first encountered the banana thousands of years ago, they were not thoroughly impressed by the almost inedible giant will bananas that had huge seeds. However, through historical mutations, both accidental rare, there was the production of seedless bananas through selective breeding by farmers. It is of the essence to realize that indeed ancient humans were able to focus more on the pollen-less and seedless crops that were more edible (Schierwater 25). With time, there was a big change and the edible banana flesh only have several vague traces of the viable seed that had once been carried in the wild stock that existed thousands of years ago.
In ancient ages, plant breeders were able to grow edible bananas by grafting the different and diverse sterile mutants onto wild systems. This system was unfortunately repeated for thousands of years to produce was eventually an emasculated, defenseless as well as sterile plantation of bananas. This is what has been currently feeding persons in the global arena.
The different generations of selective breeding had been able to successful stop the banana reproduction and further the changing, and tinkering genetics of banana has been able to successful wipe out all the different varieties of bananas. The only one type of banana that remains by the 1950’s was referred to as the Gros Michel species (Schierwater 59). In fact, all the existing domestic stock in the world is its clone, and they have an exact genetic copy of that one variety.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that there only exists one variety of the banana crop. Unfortunately, this variety is seedless and needs human help when it comes to reproduction. Each and every banana tree is equally vulnerable by crop pests, plant disease as well as climate variables.
Once the banana was a wild growing fruit, however, over the years things have changed, and the plant has to be helped by humans to be grown. The Panama disease wiped clean the Gros Michel in the year 1955. It is of the essence to realize that banana plantations were wiped out by the disease and the by the year 1960; the Gros Michel was unfortunately no longer a viable crop. There was tireless agricultural research that eventually produced the successor referred to as the Cavendish. Therefore, for the past 50 years, it can be said that the only commercially grown stock that has been available on the store shelves is Cavendish.
It cannot be doubted that in the tropics, there exist several types of banana varieties. However, it is critical to understand that these can be described as less desirable banana varieties. This is because they are often mainly grown as a starch food staple as compared to the sweet treat.
They often taste bland, and their texture is fibrous. In fact, most of them have to be cooked before they are ingested. They are never taken raw and it they are taken in their raw form, they are bitter and hard.
The problem with the current variety is that like its genetic parent, its sterile, and this leaves it vulnerable when it comes to crop pests and diseases. There are new mutations in terms of diseases that have been attacking the banana crops. The most notable is the powerful plant pathogen that appeared on the scene in the year 1970.
The Sigatoka Fungus mutates easily and has been attacking the Cavendish stock around the world. In fact, 50-70 percent of the banana crops have died, and the banana tree life spans have been unfortunately reduced from their initial 30 years to around two years (Robbins 22). Scientists have often argued that indeed the genetic sameness that exists amongst the Cavendish bananas have been crucial in making them helpless when it comes to the fighting of diseases such as the Black Sigatoka Fungus. If one plant can get sick and it dies, consequently, most of the plants will also die as they have the same genetic sameness.
What makes banana a near extinct, is the fact that chemical spraying cannot be able to save the banana. In fact, over the years, commercial growers have over the years attempted to control fungus by the use of different specialized and complex fungicides.
However, this has been largely impossible; this is because most fungi are known to develop rapidly resistance against these chemical fungicides (Banana Zoo). Therefore, it can be argued that indeed simply spraying the fungicide does not do the trick anymore, and it does not kill the fungus. In fact, currently, banana plantations that existed in Costa Rica as well as the Amazon have over the years been largely destroyed by the Sigatoka Fungus and bananas are largely growing extinct in these areas.
The problem was selective and genetic engineering. This is because they changed the DNA of the plant in what can be said to be an irreversible way. The case of the banana can be said to be a big case in favor of the claim that much can go wrong when there is tampering with the genetic so the plan (Robbins 22). There is still a small glimmer of hope for the banana. There are some scientists that have argued that indeed they can only delay the loss of the banana by the creation of a genetically modified banana with the DNA of the wild bananas in order to create a banana that exists in the Supermarket. However, whether this will be possible remains a big question.
Therefore, it is critical to note that indeed the disappearance of the banana should be a wake-up calls to what can often be the result of unplanned and reckless genetic manipulation and inattention to sensitive crops.
Therefore, if extinction can happen to the world’s most popular fruit with humanity in the stands watching it happen, and then can wonder what can happen to the small and insignificant fruits that are less known by humanity (Robbins 17). The plants that have no use to the humans but have a huge impact on the environment, these are the plants whose fates are often not talked about, but have the ability to curtail the lives of human beings on earth.
Banana Zoo: Endangered Species. Seattle, WA: Unapix Entertainment, 1998.
Schierwater, B, B Streit, G P. Wagner, and R DeSalle. Molecular Ecology and Evolution: Approaches and Applications. Basel: Birkhäuser Basel, 1994. Internet resource.
Robbins, Paul. Encyclopedia of Environment and Society. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2007. Internet resource
Bamboo has been used for construction purposes for many centuries, and it has gained popularity for both its beauty as well as the fact that it is a naturally sustaining as well as a regenerating resource. Bamboo flooring often offers a unique look that is both affordable as well as eco-friendly (Truini, 2010). Stranded bamboo is especially important because it offers a stylish as well as durable look. It is important to realize that indeed the uniquely subtle grain patterns often provide a look that cannot be found with any other flooring product. The raw material for bamboo is sourced in China. China is the world largest bamboo producer, and most of the bamboo will be consequently sourced from that country.
The first process is the harvesting of the bamboo that can be done manually with machetes, knives and saws (Aicher, 2014). However in the industrial scale it is used by farm equipment. Secondly, the bamboo is cut into strips lengthwise. After being cut into small strips, the bamboo is then pressure steamed in a process that is referred to as carbonization, and this is done to get rid of the bugs (Truini, 2010). The longer one carbonizes the bamboo, the darker and softer it becomes.
The purified bamboo is inspected and sorted into grades, and following that it's kiln-dried to remove moisture and afterward its milled into nice, uniform strips (Minke, 2000). The strips are consequently laminated into sheets and blocks using a combination of glue, UV, heat. There is the use of several chemicals to further purify the laminated sheets or blocks that are further machined into the end product (Minke, 2000).
Bamboo is important to the local economy of the people that grow the plant. This is because they are a source of income for many of the families that the plant originates from. Further, the market of bamboo flooring is ever increasing, and consequently, these farmers of plants can gain a larger market for their produce (Aicher, 2014).
The marketing is mainly done by secondary companies which are also responsible for ensuring that the bamboo plants are harvested and transported to the relevant market areas (Minke, 2000). Further, there is also the manufacturers that help in the shaping of the bamboo trees and ensuring that indeed the distribution of the finished product is finished.
It is critical to realize that indeed the Chinese farmers that grow the problem often get the best price for it. Recent interventions by the government of China have made sure that the agencies are not in any manner exploiting the persons. This has made rural Chinese farmers to embrace enthusiastically bamboo as an income earner.
The average farmer might get around $25,000 to $35,000 in the year. This is a fare wage, and the working conditions are important (Truini, 2010). The people that are fabricating the product are protected by the fair labor standards, and this is extremely important to understand. The American companies that fabricates the product have ensured that indeed there are fair labor standards (Lord, 2010).
The wage laws are protected by the minimal wage act and consequently, this ensures that the employees are paid in the best manner possible taking into account the risks that they encounter every day (Minke, 2000). This is extremely critical and it ensures that the problems with salaries and working conditions are taken care by the government and the state authorities.
The processing of bamboo present environmental hazards as well as harmful health effects, this is because there are often chemicals breathing in carbon disulfide are known to cause tiredness, nerve damage, and headache (Janssen, 1995). The low levels of sodium hydroxide are also known to cause irritation of the skin and the eyes. There are companies which are processing bamboo organically (Janssen, 1995).
It is important to realize that because of the health risks that are posed by the chemicals and coupled with the negative environmental impacts of surrounding factory plants, bamboo manufacturing such as regenerated fibers produced using hydrolysis alkalization. This is done in several varieties in order to ensure that the bamboo flooring is softened and it is also given its specific colors. However, this practice is being discouraged in the industry because of its harmful effects.
The cheaper alternate to bamboo flooring is cement. It is important to understand that indeed cement is locally available in Canada, however, there is a problem with cement in that it is not as stylish and also non-renewable (Truini, 2010). The cost of the building material did not influence the decision to select it for this project and this is because of the fact that it was considered primarily because of its beauty. The bamboo flooring can be described as pleasant to the eye and ensures warmth.
It is important to realize that bamboo is not a tree, it is the fastest growing plant and it contributes greatly towards the reduction of greenhouse gases. It is extremely conducive to fresh air. Further, bamboo produces greater biomass and 30% oxygen more as compared to the comparable sized hardwood forests. It is critical to understand that wild habitats provide the prevention of soil erosion, soil restoration and the improvement of watersheds. Left to its own devices, the bamboo often regenerates annually with replanting.
Therefore, in conjunction with its green properties and plentiful renewable supply, bamboo can be described as quickly becoming one of the most popular residential as well as commercial flooring choice (Truini, 2010). It is critical to realize that indeed the fact that the bamboo performs well in drier and humid climates and this promotes it benefits on a wide scale basis. Most of the homeowners and business owners as well as contractors are touting the strong points when it comes to utilizing this material.
In conclusion, bamboo flooring is extremely important when it comes to the flooring of commercial properties. Bamboo is sourced from China as the country is able to offer a good price for the product. There are several American and Canadian companies that manufacture the raw material into a finished product (Truini, 2010). The Bamboo flooring is extremely advantageous to the environment, and this is because it is renewable and the fact that it is a plentiful resource also comes in handy.
The bamboo floor resins are able to easily meet the stringent environmental standards. The bamboo floors have an expansion rate that is only about 50% of the hardwoods. The growing of Bamboo trees is also beneficial to the farmers and they ensure that they are able to sustain their families. Further, in the manufacturing sector, there is also the importance that the bamboo plays. It gives employment to millions of people while at the same time doing a great service to the environment in general.
Aicher, S., Reinhardt, H. W., & In Garrecht, H. (2014). Materials and joints in timber structures: Recent developments of technology.
Janssen, J. J. A. (1995). Building with bamboo: A handbook. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.
Lord, G. (2010). Simply creative faux finishes with Gary Lord: 30 cutting-edge techniques for walls, floors, and ceilings. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books.
Minke, G. (2000). Earth construction handbook: The building material earth in modern architecture. Southhampton [UK: WIT Press.
Truini, J. (2010). Installing floors. Newtown, Conn: Taunton Press.
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