For the past ten years, researchers in Australia have been working on a new type of banana that could save hundreds of thousands of lives EVERY YEAR.
They crossbred two types. One is a normal Cavendish banana, which is what you’re used to seeing in grocery stores. The other is a smaller type from New Guinea that’s extremely high in vitamin A.
That’s important, because up to 750,000 children die every year from a vitamin A deficiency, mostly in Africa. So the new bananas are bigger, easier to grow, and packed with WAY more vitamin A than the kind people eat in places like Uganda.
The weird part is all that vitamin A makes the bananas ORANGE. The peel is slightly orange instead of yellow, and the part you eat is orange too. (I know there’s an “orange you glad I didn’t say banana” joke in here somewhere.)
The next step is trying to grow them on a massive scale in Africa. The researchers still have another six years of red tape to get through, but it’s looking pretty good right now.