When it comes to fruits and vegetables, we always tend to think all of them grew natural but is not every fruit, and vegetable we consume that are natural, somewhere man-made. When I say man-made, I don’t mean it was made by machine but rather a process known as selective breeding. Selective breeding is a process where plants with similar traits are replanted. Here is a list of five common fruits, and vegetables that we consider as natural but there are not.
Although there are many varieties of oranges in the world today, each variety can be traced back to the man-made hybrid made by crossing the pomelo with the mandarin. The pomelo as a bitter taste like the grapefruit, but the Mandarin is sweet. Many people tend to mistake the Mandarin as a variety of orange, but that’s wrong. Even though the mandarin has an orange color, it is not a variety, but rather an ancestor of the orange. There are many histories about the origin of the orange; however the most common of them is that the orange originated from Southern China.
Banana is one of my favorite food especially when it is eaten with groundnut on a sunny afternoon. However, the banana is a man-made hybrid of Musa acuminata a Musa balbisiana banana species. Musa balbisiania has a sweet taste but contains plenty of seeds while Musa acuminata has a very fleshy inside. Both bananas were crossbreed in the forests of southern Asia, but the resultant banana was sterile. When early humans found out about the hybrid, they learned they could replant the shoots to create new trees, so they engaged in selective breeding and planted banana with favorable traits. The result is the banana we all enjoy today. It may interest you to know that banana may go extinct if we stop planting them because they are not grown from seeds.
The delicious Tangelo is a man-made hybrid of the Pomelo and the tangerine. Tangelos are believed to have first appeared in the forests of South-East Asia about3,500 years ago when some certain insects cross-pollinated the Mandarin with a grape-like fruit. However, the modern tangelos are as a result of a selective breeding program that began in the 1800s. The tangelo got its name from the first three letters of the tangerine and last two letters of pomelo.
The carrots we have today are orange, but do you know that carrots were naturally purple or white, and were inedible? The orange carrots we have today is a hybrid of the yellow carrot (a hybrid of the white carrot). The earliest-known edible carrots appeared in Persia during the 20 century. While some account stated it was white, some argued it was purple. Selective breeding continued to improve the flavor and color, this resulted in the changing of color from purple or white to yellow and to the orange we have today.
The modern strawberry is a man-made hybrid of a small wild strawberry. This little wild strawberry has a great flavor, aroma and shorter shelf life. Today’s strawberry came into limelight in France during the 18th century.