A rarely talked about aspect of climate change is food. Yes, the oceans will rise, wildfires will intensify, and heat waves will spread rapidly.
But how will humanity feed itself when all our crops are gone?
A shrewd doctor from Kew Gardens has found a strange herb that might be the ideal solution. Not only does it feed the world, it can also fight climate change. abyssinian banana Say hello to the fake banana, also known as
But before we look at this life-saving plant, let’s look at why climate change is reducing our crop yields.
Crops such as barley, wheat, soy and maize require very specific conditions. All need ideal water levels, temperatures, nutrients, and precise planting and harvesting timing to produce their delicious produce. This becomes more difficult as droughts, wildfires, floods, heat waves and snowstorms become more frequent.
These extreme weather events, a direct cause of climate change, are reducing global crop yields every year. This is getting so severe that maize yields are predicted to fall 24% by 2030!
modern agriculture methods are also not so good for the areas surrounding farmland. Crop rotation and plowing of farmland damage the soil. food loss and dramatic soil erosion. This is getting so bad that after just 100 harvests in the UK, the soil will become unproductive, according to one report. This is a topic that should be discussed before the harms of fertilizers and pesticides, but it is beyond the scope of this article.
So how can fake bananas solve these problems?
It all depends on how strange the Abyssinian banana is as a crop. The Abyssinian banana is a relative of the bananas grown in Ethiopia (Ethiopia only). But unlike the yellow fruit you love, the Abyssinian banana only produces its fruit once every ten years. These fruits are pulpy, hard and fibrous. Doesn’t sound like an attractive crop, does it?
Fortunately, you do not eat these fruits. Instead, you can gather the starchy roots and stems, then grind them into flour to make bread or porridge. Abyssinian flour is not highly nutritious, but packed with carbohydrates, making it an ideal replacement for wheat and corn.
This unconventional farming method means that the Abyssinian banana does not need to be plucked from the ground to harvest it; this allows the plant to grow into mini-trees and live for decades while feeding thousands.
Simply cut off some stems or roots for food and the Abyssinian can grow back. Better still, you can harvest year-round, reduce the need for storage, or fly crops out of season around the world.
Our land will thank us for growing Abyssinian bananas. Having stabilized soil that is not tilled every year means nutrients are locked in and erosion is significantly reduced. Moreover, Abyssinian plants live for decades, allowing complex underground ecosystems such as fungal mycorrhizal networks to thrive.
The combination of these two factors makes Abyssinian banana farms more resistant to drought, disease, pests and nutrient loss.
But even without stable soil and underground ecosystems, Abyssinians are already very hardy plants. First, they are mature medium plants, meaning they bounce back much faster than the small, short-lived plants we tend to consume.
Therefore, trees can survive drought, but corn cannot. Second, they are not overly fussy when it comes to soil type, temperatures or weather conditions. This not only makes them resistant to the extreme weather conditions of climate change, but also allows them to be planted in countless different ecosystems.
Speaking of ecosystems, the Abyssinian banana can also stabilize microclimates.
The continuous removal of large amounts of biomass at each harvest time or the change of dominant plant type from year to year can significantly affect the local climate. This is because different plants emit different levels of water vapor and absorb different levels of heat, which affects weather patterns. Even how much pollen a crop produces can change local rain patterns as raindrops form around tiny floating pollen.
But with Abyssinian, things are a little different. Pollen levels, water vapor and heat absorption remain the same year after year. An ecosystem can mature around crops, stabilizing surrounding ecosystems. This may not protect the area from extreme weather, but it can make daily weather much more reliable and even make extreme weather conditions a little less intense.
That’s why Dr. James Borrel and colleagues believe that Abyssinian bananas could be used to feed the nearly 100 million people who are at risk of losing their food supply due to climate change. In the developed world, we can meet rising food prices and have access to revolutionary farming techniques such as vertical farming.
It will be expensive, but we can afford it. However, in the developing world, they can take advantage of this fantastic herb to feed them as the world crumbles under the apocalypse of our own creation.
This is how fake bananas can save lives. What about tackling climate change?
Well, like hemp, Abyssinian can be used to make a wide variety of products. So not only does it provide us with food, it can also be used as animal feed or processed into clothing, building materials and even medicine.
As Abyssinian does not require intensive farming, it has a relatively low carbon footprint, which means that Abyssinian-derived products are a low-carbon alternative!
Better still, underground by the plant hemp There is a chance to build a carbon deposit like this. Thus, Abyssinian banana farms can work as carbon offset plants. However, more studies are needed to confirm how efficiently it can do this.
So can ‘fake bananas’ save the world?
While it has the potential to stabilize ecosystems and offset carbon, it could save the lives of hundreds of millions of people most at risk in the coming decades alone. Not the silver bullet many were hoping for. It won’t change the tides of climate change overnight.
But the discovery and use of Abyssinian bananas can significantly reduce the suffering of humans and wildlife as our sins catch up with us. For that reason alone, I think you can save the world.