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Old 06-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Panama disease making a comeback

The Scientist : Banana: R.I.P. [30th May 2008 02:21 PM GMT]

By Dan Koeppel
Banana: R.I.P.

They're in trouble. Can biotechnology save the fruit?


[Published 30th May 2008 02:21 PM GMT]

The banana we eat today is not the one your grandparents ate. That one - known as the Gros Michel - was, by all accounts, bigger, tastier, and hardier than the variety we know and love, which is called the Cavendish. The unavailability of the Gros Michel is easily explained: it is virtually extinct.

Introduced to our hemisphere in the late 19th century, the Gros Michel was almost immediately hit by a blight that wiped it out by 1960. The Cavendish was adopted at the last minute by the big banana companies - Chiquita and Dole - because it was resistant to that blight, a fungus known as Panama disease. For the past fifty years, all has been quiet in the banana world. Until now.

Panama disease in HawaiiPhoto: Scot Nelson

Panama disease - or Fusarium wilt of banana - is back, and the Cavendish does not appear to be safe from this new strain, which appeared two decades ago in Malaysia, spread slowly at first, but is now moving at a geometrically quicker pace. There is no cure, and nearly every banana scientist says that though Panama disease has yet to hit the banana crops of Latin America, which feed our hemisphere, the question is not if this will happen, but when. Even worse, the malady has the potential to spread to dozens of other banana varieties, including African bananas, the primary source of nutrition for millions of people.

Crop disease is only half the problem. The other part is denial. One of the most recent places Panama disease struck was Australia. Three years ago, when I was researching my book on bananas, growers down under were bragging that they'd found a way to control the disease, which first appeared in 1997 near the Northern Territory town of Darwin. "We have developed a rapid and accurate DNA-based diagnostic test...used in the detection and management of outbreaks," asserted a brochure issued by the country's Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Protection.




The Australian management program consisted of quick quarantine of fields that were proven by the test to be infected. But early detection doesn't necessarily buy enough time. The plan came apart in March 2006, when Cyclone Larry ravaged Australia's banana growing regions. High winds destroyed more than 85% of the banana crop, and flooding spread infected water and dirt to the surviving banana trees. An October report from the Australia Broadcasting Company documented the rapid spread of the blight on previously-disease free plantations. Reporter Anne Barker wrote that the "industry, which once had such bright prospects, is now facing collapse."

Panama disease hasn't hit our hemisphere yet, and the big banana companies appear unalarmed. Chiquita's 2006 annual report doesn't mention banana disease at all. The company's 2007 end-of-year SEC filing names plant disease as a "risk factor," but only mentions black sigatoka, which can be controlled chemically.

Why should it be? After all, Latin America, where we grow all of our bananas, is a hemisphere away from the places where the disease is now spreading. With all that ocean, could the epidemic could actually reach our bananalands?

Not only is it possible, it might already be happening. In late December, 2007, Philippine agriculture secretary Arthur Yap announced that the U.S. had agreed to import a large shipment of Cavendish bananas from Philippine plantations (overall, we import about 8.5 billion pounds of bananas each year, all from Latin America).

Transgenic plants in field, UgandaPhoto: Rony Swennen

Panama disease is so virulent that a single clump of dirt tracked in on a tire tread or a shoe can spark a country-wide outbreak. It isn't hard to imagine that a stray banana box from the Philippines, loaded into a Dole shipping container could be left unloaded at Long Beach, California, and continue on to Guatemala, where it could infect that nation's crop and tear through Latin America. In fact, the original Panama disease outbreak that decimated the Gros Michel almost certainly went from Asia, to the Caribbean, to Central and South America, though the exact path was never determined. The spread of Panama disease from Asia to the banana plantations of the Western Hemisphere is more than imaginable. With shipping containers traveling the world, and bananas crossing hemispheres, it's likely.

When the first outbreak of Panama disease hit the Gros Michels of South and Central America, it nearly put the entire industry out of business. Only at the last minute was a substitute banana - the Cavendish - found. The Cavendish was thought to be resistant, and for 50 years, that was true. No longer.

Transgenic banana plantlet in Belgian labPhoto: Dan Koeppel

Now, the future of the Cavendish lies in genetic engineering. Scientists have created bananas that resist Panama disease in the lab. The problem with these engineered bananas is that they lack the other characteristics - ideal ripening speed, a thick skin, and the right taste - that make a banana variety attractive for export. Making a single banana with all of those attributes may take years. Another issue is consumer acceptance: surveys have shown that most shoppers would reject modified bananas, even if they were proven to be safe.

Bananas are, however, excellent candidates for genetic modification. They are sterile - no seeds or pollen by which mutations might spread - and reproduce vegetatively. Right now, regulations have prevented even publicly funded research organizations from testing more than a handful of transformed bananas in the field. Most of this research has been conducted under the auspices of Bioversity International, an umbrella group that works mostly on food security issues. The bananas being field tested were developed by scientists in Leuven, Belgium, and are being grown at experimental plots in Uganda, a country where about 80 percent of some local diets is made up of the fruit, and where the consequences of a banana wipe-out would be disastrous. The millions of people like those in Uganda who depend on bananas to survive would be the real beneficiaries of a better banana.

There's little time left. If there is a "grail banana," it is likely to be found in the lab. The question is whether we'll let it split from there.

Dan Koeppel is the author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. He spent three years hanging out with banana growers, scientists, and banana consumers around the world. His website is www.bananabook.org.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Wow, Great article!!! It kind of makes you nervous for all those lil naners out there.
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Old 06-02-2008, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

This is the exact reason that no one should be sending bananas (or any other plant for that matter) overseas lableled as a "gift" in order to circumvent the inspections and legal papers required. That system was put in place to prevent this very kind of outbreak from happening. I know that we all love our bananas and everyone craves that something new, but we all need to be responsible for the fate of, not only our "hobby", but as mentioned, for the lives of those who depend on this plant for their very survival. I hope that wasn't too preachy but as a horticulturist I hear about this type of thing a lot and I think we need to take it seriously.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

We were at the produce farmers market here in Houston and they had a sign up b the bananas saying the prices were up due to a World wide shortage. They expect the prices to stay high for the next two to three months.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Although I commend Koeppel for bringing this serious issue to light, it must be taken with a grain of salt. All of his writtings and interviews circle around a single aspect of bananas, Cavendish grown for commercial export in Latin America. Even in his book however, he mentions that there are many resistant varieties out there (traditionally bred too, if genetic engineering bothers you). Goldfinger, for example, is resistant to Panama Disease Race 4. It hasnʻt replaced the Cavendish due to other factors (in my opinion, the problems are with politics, not with the plant). I guess the main point Iʻm trying to make is that bananas are not going extinct, they are not in danger, and we will continue to be able to grow our plants without problems. The problem at hand would mainly be affecting commercially grown exported Cavendish, which mind you is only about 13% of global banana production (most is in back yards and small hold farms, not giant plantations). The Panama Disease which wiped out Gros Micheal is still present in the Americas, the consequence being that Gros Micheal is not able to be grown in large fields, but if you are careful about where you are getting your plants from and watch over your plants, even this variety can still be grown.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Gabe, I think you're right on with what you said. I feel that a lot of the problem also comes from Chiquita and Dole only producing Cavendish (a monoculture), which makes it much easier for any one species or variety to be wiped out by insects or disease. That's why it's so important to diversify. I realize that doing so would bring on a whole new set of issues for them such as harvest timing, certain varieties that don't ship as well, the uneducated American consumer that thinks that the Cavendish (or yellow) types are the only kind of bananas. If the big banana companies would do some advertising and let the American public know that there are more (and tastier) types out there I feel they'd be able to diversify what they grow and ship here much more easily. I do agree that it's not quite the doomsday scenario that he depicts it to be, though.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

As a sidenote, I would suggest not throwing our store-bought banana peels into our compost pile. Perhaps this is not how it is spread, but I am taking no chances.
Thanks Gabe for setting the record straight. While Koeppel's article makes good press to sell copy, many times the sensationalization produces a benefit. That being to focus efforts on finding solutions to prevent future epidemics, by bringing attention to the problem.

"Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong." (Dennis Miller)
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

I've seen firsthand down here the problems with the Dole and Chiquita monoculture plantations - this year we had Black Sig run through and decimate a goodly amount of the crop. If Panama disease isn't far behind, then the Cavs may be done for. I personally don't think it's such a great loss, since we have a number of Panama resistant cultivars down here that both look and taste better than Cavs. And I think that Gabe's entirely correct, the North American banana consumer is generally woefully underinformed about the diversity of bananas. Once I tasted my first Reds and Oritos (both resistant cultivars, btw), I was hooked and I haven't eaten a Cav banana since....

It gives me the heebie jeebies to think about creating mutant transgenic Cavs just so that the monoculture system, which is tremendously unhealthy for both the land and the plants, can continue unabated. Better to promote and breed strains that are already resistant!
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Big discussion about this on slashdot -
Slashdot | Bye Bye Bananas — the Return of Panama Disease
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Whoo, a big subject here....

As far as comments about shipping around the world are concerned. I would point out the following. Yes, shipping plants US to EU and vice versa and elsewhere is not officially sanctioned.
BUT, and it is a big BUT.

We the independant musa plant growers do have a role to play in promoting biodiversity in Musaceae. many species whilst not recognised as having commercial viability, may hold the genetic keys to such diseases. Who will be growing M. Aurantiaca or M. Nagensium in 50 years time if it is not a commercial product? the Indian govt. agencies and bioversity international already recognise that biodiversity may be key in the future. I could go on about putting rare species into TC (a personal aim of mine) to make wild collections unviable commercially, thus preserving (hopefully) indigenous species. What if Cal. Gold is the key or Siam Ruby ? this is a fun hobby but it maybe does have a wider purpose.
I will continue to buy and sell plants worldwide, unless someone has compelling arguments otherwise.
I look forward to comments
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman88 View Post
This is the exact reason that no one should be sending bananas (or any other plant for that matter) overseas lableled as a "gift" in order to circumvent the inspections and legal papers required. That system was put in place to prevent this very kind of outbreak from happening. I know that we all love our bananas and everyone craves that something new, but we all need to be responsible for the fate of, not only our "hobby", but as mentioned, for the lives of those who depend on this plant for their very survival. I hope that wasn't too preachy but as a horticulturist I hear about this type of thing a lot and I think we need to take it seriously.
and you, exactly like me, are growing how many non-indigenous species? have we bought them all from certified sources?
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

concur with gab
how ever theirs a bigger question here
are we going to allow American and European Co to
dictate what we have available to us its dangerous the average American has access to less then 30 different types of plant based food stuffs that may at first seem like a lot of choices but if you think about it what and this is one of those paranoid sounding statements but what if something happens to are food supply like what is happening to the Banana corps dole and Chiquita they staked there inter fortunes on one plant and look at there predicament this should be an example as to a Coors of action that we should be coming up with this planet is struggling to support us Scientifically speaking Earth can realistically support 1.5 billion people comfortably with out stressing are ecosystems look at were we are now the fact that we are so crowded is why we are having thees kinds of outbreaks i know it sounds like if diverged from the original thread but perhaps this is just a way of taking it to its and this is my opinion obvious conclusion
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51st state View Post
Whoo, a big subject here....

As far as comments about shipping around the world are concerned. I would point out the following. Yes, shipping plants US to EU and vice versa and elsewhere is not officially sanctioned.
BUT, and it is a big BUT.

We the independant musa plant growers do have a role to play in promoting biodiversity in Musaceae. many species whilst not recognised as having commercial viability, may hold the genetic keys to such diseases. Who will be growing M. Aurantiaca or M. Nagensium in 50 years time if it is not a commercial product? the Indian govt. agencies and bioversity international already recognise that biodiversity may be key in the future. I could go on about putting rare species into TC (a personal aim of mine) to make wild collections unviable commercially, thus preserving (hopefully) indigenous species. What if Cal. Gold is the key or Siam Ruby ? this is a fun hobby but it maybe does have a wider purpose.
I will continue to buy and sell plants worldwide, unless someone has compelling arguments otherwise.
I look forward to comments
regards
Kev
That's a good perspective that I hadn't thought of.
My opinon is that if you're from an area with disease you should be careful not to spread it. If you're from northern parts of the world then there is alot less risk of disease, and even less so if you buy tissue culture, or buy seed grown plants.
These mass fields of mono crops pose problems with insect's, disease, and soil depletion.
There maybe a silver lining to the cavendish losing favor to big growers. Maybe we'll have 5 different varities in the supermarket and the consumer will have to try a few different types to find their favorite.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51st state View Post
and you, exactly like me, are growing how many non-indigenous species? have we bought them all from certified sources?
Hey, Kev...thanks for your thoughts. I wasn't knocking buying or shipping internationally. I was trying to advocate for doing it [i]legally[i], that's all. As a person who has been in the ornamental horticulture industry for close to 15 years now I am very aware of how our industry has benefitted (and occasionally suffered) from the many cultivars of plants that we now have readily available to us. I do buy the occasional banana from a nursery, but I mostly trade with people here or buy locally. Yes, who knows for sure where the nurseries get their stock from. I guess the reason why I said what I did was that I've seen it mentioned here before that one could send a banana, say to the UK labeled as a gift and it could possibly get through customs without the required phytosanitary papers and inspections for pests or disease that could potentially escape into it's new country.

We do have a great hobby, but as you mentioned, who knows which banana we may be growing that could hold the key to future insect or disease resistance in it's genes. Our hobby has the potential to be so much more. Let's all enjoy our hobby, be passionate about it, but be responsible as well! I think this kind of open discussion is great and that's part of the reason why I love this site so much. Happy growing, everyone!
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Quote:
Originally Posted by damaclese View Post
concur with gab
how ever theirs a bigger question here
are we going to allow American and European Co to
dictate what we have available to us its dangerous the average American has access to less then 30 different types of plant based food stuffs that may at first seem like a lot of choices but if you think about it what and this is one of those paranoid sounding statements but what if something happens to are food supply like what is happening to the Banana corps dole and Chiquita they staked there inter fortunes on one plant and look at there predicament this should be an example as to a Coors of action that we should be coming up with this planet is struggling to support us Scientifically speaking Earth can realistically support 1.5 billion people comfortably with out stressing are ecosystems look at were we are now the fact that we are so crowded is why we are having thees kinds of outbreaks i know it sounds like if diverged from the original thread but perhaps this is just a way of taking it to its and this is my opinion obvious conclusion
Wow, Damaclese, I didn't realize that you actually have less variety in plant foods than we do down here in the (soi disant) "3rd World." We have over 100 different types of plant-based food here, but I guess a catastrophic crop failure in even one food, like the nanners, would seriously damage the food supply in N. America. Down here, it would hurt our economy but we'd still have nanners because of the local artisan growers and all of the different varieties they support. It would virtually eliminate the sale of nanners up North.

This might be a wakeup call for the Northern countries - they used to produce a lot more of their own food than they do now, which meant more variety and a more secure supply.

I'm sure science has a path through this, but like others have said I think it lies in finding the naturally resistant cultivars and species, not creating some mutant transgenic thing that they really know next to nothing about in terms of human and environmental impacts. So the future of the nanner really lies with us, the "hobby" growers and bananaphile collectionists.

I'm eating red bananas right now - these have been field tested down here against Sigs, and appear to also be Panama-resistant in primary lab trials. Maybe it will simply be a case of re-educating Northern consumers....

(lol! I think I've been long-winded enough!)
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

as for the price of nanas in tn because of the storms there, organic nanas are .99 a lb(regulary .89) and regular nanas are .69 lb (regulary .49-.59). there was a little price jump but not much. they say the price might go up again, but who can go without eating nanas????i cant.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Quote by Lorax: "I'm eating red bananas right now..."

Oh, sure! Just tease us, why don't you!!! I wish my Dw. Red was close to flowering size. Maybe next yr if I'm lucky. I can't wait to try the fruit!
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

id like to clarify most Americas shop in meager grocery chains IE safway wall-mart Kroger's they do not see a grate variety of plant based foods
however there are a grate number of plant based foods available from smaller more responsive chains as well as specialty store the draw back to this is that they tend to be but are not always more expensive and are in smaller supply but Miss and Mr john Doe living in Hoboken new Jersey don't have access to thees kinds of food stuffs and the poor who are often living in Urban centers were Grocery stores tend to be few and far between
and whom are not failure with most variety of foods wouldn't even know what to do with the food if they could buy it in the second palace please do not misunderstand me I'm not putting down any one thees are simply my observations
in summation thees condition in my opinion are bas on a system of profit over sound scientific safe bio practices and are as a direct result of over population coupled with greed and a lack of controls really you have to kinda fault the scientist and governments for not thinking these things threw but i have to say that these people are often stressed and over rot with the condition that require their Attn. as well as their own human nature
IE apathy or greed and corruption or and i believe this is the main reason ignorance!
this has led to a lack of bio diversity poor health of the average person
and a precarious food supply coupled with natural as well as man made diseases and blights lead really to are current discussion of the panama disease even though they seam unrelated its about systems and ares isn't working vary well!
there are defiantly other causes that could be discus in relationship to the out brake of panama decease such as bad shipping practices not the mention the efficacy of genetically engineering plants and animals and some of are social practices that promote are current systems this is really a big subject and could potently go on for moths but as iv already take up way to much time and don't in any way wish to belabor this all leave thees things for you all to discus in more depth i only hope that we can find a way to live that promotes are heath spiral as well as physical and the welfare of are plant
sorry about the spelling lots of words that sound the same!
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

as a side note this is what i have available in my store thats around the corner from me (i wasn't going to identify i changed my mind Von's)

1 potatoes
2 Onions
3 carts
4 broccoli
5 Brussels sprouts
6 lettuce
7 tomatoes
8 mushrooms
9 scallions
10 appalls
11 oranges
12 peaches*
13 pear*
14 straw Berry's*
15 raspberries*
16 blackberries*
17 garlic
18 celery
19 parsley
20 persimmons*
21 nectarines*
22 squash*
23 Bananas
24 artichokes*
they don't even have radishes!
i cant think of ever seeing any thing els i shop there daily
*allot of thees are seasonal and are not available most of the time im my store
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Panama disease making a comeback

Ok, for comparison's sake here is what is generally on offer at the big fresh market where I shop every weekend. This list is representative of this season. Seasonal stuff is marked with a star, the same way you've done it.

Veggies:

1. Potatoes (4-5 varieties)
2. Oca (Oxalis tubers)
3. Yucca (aka Cassava or Manioc)
4. Sweet Potatoes
5. Beets
6. Turnips
7. Parsnips
8. Carrots
9. Radishes
10. Lettuce
11. Celery
12. Spinach
13. Chard
14. Leafy greens that I don't immediately recognize
15. Green beans
16. All other beans that do not have edible pods. If it's a bean, we've got it.
17. Peas
18. Corn (mostly white traditional starchy corn called Choclo)
19. Tomatoes
20. Tomate de arbol (You'd call them Tamarillos)
21. Peppers of every colour and heat level
22. Onions, both white, yellow, and red
23. Garlic
24. Squash (five or six kinds, never smaller than a giant's head)
25. Radiccio
26. Cabbage (all colours)
27. Broccoli and Rabano
28. Cauliflower (three colours - white green and purple)

Fruits:

29. Mangoes*
30. Papayas (from tiny red-flesh ones the size of your fist to gigantic ones that weigh more than 10 pounds)
31. Sweet Bananas - I should mention that this includes 9 or 10 types of all sizes and colours.
32. Plantains, ripe and unripe
33. Blueberries*
34. Cherries*
35. Pears
36. Apples
37. Peaches or Duraznos (the latter are small native peaches)
38. Apricots
39. Nectarines*
40. Pineapples - white flesh and yellow flesh
41. Oranges - sweet Seville, Navel, and bitter
42. Mandarins - Satsuma and 4 or 5 larger seeded varieties
43. Limes - Key, Kaffir, Sweet, Red, Striped, and Giant
44. Grapefruit
45. Lemons
46. Grapes* - green, red, and black
47. Pitahaya and Tuna (Cactus fruits)*
48. Uvillas (Cape gooseberries)
49. Strawberries
50. Blackberries
51. Guavas
52. Nisperos (Loquats)
53. Wild fruits* - this inclues Uva de Monte, Fuchsia Berries, and many more
54. Achiotillos* (Rambutans)
55. Palm fruits*, including Palm Peaches
56. Coconuts and Jungle Coconuts
57. Naranjillas (I have no equivalent. Look up Solanum quitoense)
58. Babaco
59. Passionfruits (three to five types including Maracuya, Granadilla, and Taxo)
60. Chirimoya*
61. Guayabana*
62. Jackfruits*
63. Breadfruits*
64. Lychee*
65. Other citrus I have missed (there are about 10 varieties)
66. Mangosteen*
67. Jungle fruits* - once a month we have a chance at Borojo, Aracai, and Acerola cherries, as well as a wider variety of palm fruits.
68. Sapote*
69. Cocoa* (whole in pod, or nibs)
70. Coffee
80. Fresh milled grain flours, from up to 15 varieties of grain, also, this grain whole hulled or unhulled.
81. Pepinos (again, I have no equivalent.)
82. Persimmons*
83. Tamarinds
84. Fresh boiled peanuts
85. All of the spices you can imagine, and a few you can't
86. Fresh-juiced sugarcane, as well as sugar in whole cane
87. Watermelons
88. Canteloupe
89. Kiwis*
90. Mulberries*
91. Something that looks like cherries but which is the size, flavour and texture of an olive. But when I ask, they say it's not an olive.
92. Something else that looks like cherries but is green inside and bitter. When I ask, they say it's not a cherry.
93. Heart of bamboo
94. Heart of palm (sometimes)
95. A fruit similar to mangosteens but which is much milkier and more rubbery-tasting.
96. Cloud plums

And stuff I forgot:

97. Asparagus
98. Fresh ginger roots from a variety of different types of ginger

Meat

99. Fresh fish, caught yesterday or sometimes this morning on the coast or in the mountain streams
100. Fresh (ie on the wing) chicken, ducks, geese, and turkey. Chicks are cheaper than chickens.
101. Fresh (ie on their little paws) cuy/guinea pig, rabbits, small furry edible animals including Huanchacas (possum)
102. Fresh (ie on the hoof) piglets, kid goats
103. Fresh (ie still wigglin' they little legs) crabs and lobsters
104. Fresh (ie slaughtered this morning) beef and pork - but this is hangin' in the wind. We don't buy it.

And more stuff I forgot

105. Dried spices including Cinnamon, Cloves, Achiote, and a number of other odd things.


And I've probably missed stuff. Like I know I've seen Okra on the tables, and there are still things I don't recognise. At the fixed markets (this is a free-market) the selection is similar. I can't get mushrooms there, but I can get them at the supermarket; same goes for variety of lettuce. Sometimes I can also find Colocasia (Taro.) There is also stuff that we don't eat and therefore I ignore. Ecuadorians have an amazing variety of fresh stuff in their diet!

If I am in the jungle, I can also sometimes get fresh palm maggots. Again, something to look at and not buy or eat.

Very little of this is grown more than 100 km from where I buy it.

Last edited by lorax : 06-05-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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