by Kevin Farrell for USA TODAY 10Best

Why bananas aren't as good as they used to be

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Did you know that artificial banana flavoring tastes more like the bananas of years past?

That’s because artificial banana flavor was a replication of a different species of banana called the Gros Michel.

The banana has been one of the world’s biggest selling fruits since the 1800’s.

But how we ended up with the Cavendish, the banana we are familiar with today, is a tale of science and economics.

In the world of bananas, there are more than 1,000 subspecies, ranging in color from green to yellow to red.

Many of these species have enormous seeds. The Gros Michel, however, is a seedless variety, with a starchy, creamy center.

For years, the Gros Michel dominated the world’s commercial banana business until a fungus nearly destroyed the entire crop.

To continue to feed the world’s hunger for banana, the Cavendish, another yellow, seedless variety, took the Gros Michel’s place.

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