YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=9ru29L97MYE
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Duration:05:06
Uploaded:2018-06-21
Last sync:2018-06-21 17:10
Oh, hey, Squeaks, those bananas look delicious!

I can’t wait to bake our banana bread. But your peels keep missing the compost bin, see?

We need to be careful, or somebody might slip and—. Faaaaaaaalll! Whew.

I’m okay! Oh, thanks, Squeaks! I’d love a banana.

You know, bananas are a pretty special fruit. Most of the fruit that we eat comes from seeds, which are kind of like a baby plant. If they end up back in the ground, they can grow into the next generation of plants!

But bananas don’t have seeds! Or at least, not the bananas we eat. Some wild bananas do have seeds – big seeds that make them hard to eat.

But the kind we grow on farms and buy in the store are almost always a type of banana called the Cavendish. And Cavendish bananas don’t grow seeds. If you see little black specks in your banana, they’re seeds that aren’t fully formed, and they won’t grow into big, tough ones.

And that’s not the only difference between bananas and other kinds of fruit. The plant that we think of as a banana tree … isn’t actually a tree! [Squeaks is taken aback]. It’s a giant , which is what we call a plant that doesn’t have a woody stem.

Or, to put it another way: not a tree! Even though a banana plant looks like it has a trunk, that part is not a trunk at all. It’s actually made of leaves that are very tightly packed together.

They grow on top of each other, making the banana plant grow taller and taller – sometimes up to 7.5 meters high! That’s almost as tall as a two-floor house! Inside those packed leaves is the .

It’s a part of the banana plant that starts underground, growing a system of roots and shoots. And above ground, it grows taller and taller, inside the leaves of the fake stem. When the banana plant is fully grown, the top of the rhizome grows clusters of flowers.

Each cluster is called a hand. And some of those hands of flowers will turn into hands of … delicious bananas! Together, all these hands of bananas are called a bunch.

There can be hundreds of bananas in just one bunch! But remember, none of them have seeds. So when it’s time to grow brand new plants, banana growers have a different way of doing it.

Instead of planting banana seeds, they cut away a part of the underground section of the rhizome, and plant that instead. Eventually, it grows into a new plant! But this can cause some problems.

When plants grow from seeds, each one is a little bit different from the next. But all the Cavendish bananas in the world didn’t come from seeds – they all came from each other’s rhizomes! So each banana plant is an exact copy of the plant that came before it.

You know how sometimes it seems like almost everyone in your family, or in your school, is getting sick with the same cold? Colds are contagious, which means you catch them from someone else who’s already sick. Except, usually not everyone gets sick.

That’s because each person is a little bit different from the next. And a few lucky people might be resistant to the cold. Their bodies fight it off, so they don’t feel sick, even when the rest of the class is home sneezing.

But unlike the kids in your school, bananas aren’t all different from each other. plants can get sick, just like people and animals do. So if a disease comes along that makes one Cavendish banana sick … it can make every other Cavendish banana in the whole world sick, too. It’s actually happened once before, with a different type of banana.

Years ago, most people weren’t eating Cavendish bananas. They ate a type of banana called the Gros Michel. People say it was even tastier than the Cavendish bananas we eat today!

But more than 60 years ago, a sickness called Panama disease hit the Gros Michel banana plants and wiped almost all of them out. Luckily for us, the Cavendish banana was resistant to it, and didn’t get sick. So banana growers started growing Cavendish bananas instead.

But we might not have Cavendish bananas forever. There are two different diseases threatening them, which have begun to spread around the world. And banana growers and scientists don’t want to let them kill off all the bananas on farms!

So they’re in a big hurry to find better ways to grow healthy bananas, and to help develop new kinds of bananas that won’t get sick from the new diseases. The key to that may be to go back to wild bananas – the kind with the big, tough seeds. One great way to stop future diseases would be to create new types of bananas with more diversity.

That means a group where each plant is a little bit different. This way, even if there’s a new banana disease, not all of the plants will get sick.v When we aren’t all exactly alike, things just work better! Like me and Squeaks.

We’re both different, but we’re a great team … and we’re both just bananas for bananas! Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and don’t forget to check us out on the YouTube Kids app.

We’ll see you next time, here at the Fort!