噢 嗨 吱吱
Oh, hey, Squeaks!
Those bananas look delicious.
I can’t wait to bake a banana bread.
But you’re being kind of messy with your peels, buddy.
We need to be careful
or somebody might slip and fall.
噢 我还好 伙计
Oh! I’m okay. Buddy.
Sure. 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 a Cavendish.
And Cavendish bananas don’t grow seeds.
If you do see little black specks in your banana,
they’re seeds that aren’t fully formed.
And they won’t get big and tough.
And that’s not the only difference
between bananas and other kinds of fruit.
And the plant we think of as a banana tree
isn’t actually a tree.
It’s a giant herbaceous plant
which is what we call the 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-story house.
Inside those packed leaves is the rhizome.
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 rhizome.
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 can 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 coughing and sneezing.
But unlike the kids in your school,
bananas aren’t all different from each other
and 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 world sick too.
And it has actually happened once before
with a different type of banana.
Years ago, most people weren’t eating Cavendish bananas.
Instead, they ate a type of banana called 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 a 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 is a new banana disease,
not all of the plants will get sick.
When we aren’t all exactly alike,
things just work better, like me and Squeaks.
We’re both different, but we make a great team.
We’re both just bananas about 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 YouTuBes kids app.
Thanks. I’ll see you next time here at the fort.
噢 嗨 吱吱