Today in this interesting article, I will be sharing some interesting and shocking man made fruits and vegetables that you most probably don’t know about.
Like me, have you been under the assumption that all the vegetables and fruits that we eat today are in their natural form? Did you know that most of these fruits and vegetables are man-made? Are you curious which ones of these are man made fruits and vegetables?
Of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, some man-made fruits and vegetables are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant, tomato, tangerine, apple, strawberry, banana, orange, and grapefruit.
Are you curious and excited to learn more about these surprisingly man-made fruits and vegetables? Keep reading to know more…
Before I jump to the part where I share the list of all man made fruits and vegetables, let’s first discuss how man made fruits and vegetables are created.
How are man made fruits and vegetables created?
Now this is the question that often comes to our mind when we learn about man made fruits and vegetables, so you must be thinking about how they are created, right? well, the answer is quite simple, they are made through genetic modification.
This process is very old, and scientists are using this method for more than a decade or so, in this process, advanced techniques such as “gene transfer” are used to modify the genetics of plants to develop desired traits.
Such techniques are used to transfer the new genes to plants and thus to get the desired characteristics. The process requires an understanding of biology, you can read more about it on online websites.
12 Examples of Man Made Fruits and Vegetables
Even though it is hard to believe, the everyday-use cabbage is indeed a man-made creation. The history of cabbage dates back to around 2500 years. The ancient Greeks and Romans were the very first people responsible for the creation of perhaps the oldest man-made vegetable – cabbage.
The modern-day cabbage was created using wild mustard plants long back. An interesting fact – the modern-day cabbage, later on, acted as a base for creating more man-made vegetables belonging to the cabbage family.
This healthy cruciferous vegetable was created by selectively breeding wild cabbage or wild mustard (botanically known as Brassica Oleracea). Its origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean region, and Southern Italy.
Broccoli is another old man-made vegetable that has been around since the Roman Empire. Modern-day broccoli was created by selectively breeding modern-day cabbage.
Just like broccoli, the modern-day cauliflower was also created by man by selectively cross-breeding cabbage or Brassica Oleracea. Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable that also belongs to the cabbage family.
An interesting fact about selectively breeding wild mustards was choosing wild mustards with big flowers for breeding broccoli and cauliflower, which gives the peculiar shape of the tops of these vegetables.
The origins of this vegetable can be found in Cyprus and other Mediterranean regions.
While chomping on carrots you may never have thought that this healthy root vegetable is also a man-made vegetable.
Carrots originally belonged to Europe and Southeastern Asia. In ancient times, carrots were purple or off-white in color.
Today, they have been cross-bred from the wild carrot species, botanically known as, Daucus Carota, to create the bright-orange or red carrot that we know of.
The original egg plants looked like eggs – white and round. Hence they got the name eggplant. The original eggplants even had thorns. However, what we eat today as an eggplant vegetable is a far different version from the original species.
Interestingly, the modern-day eggplant was bred from two different species of eggplants. One of them belonged to South Asia whereas the other belonged to East Asia.
The modern-day eggplant comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors which is a result of years of cross-breeding eggplant species. The most dominant color however that we find today is deep -purple.
Often confused as a vegetable, a tomato which is technically a fruit, is another man-made creation.
The history of tomatoes can be traced back to the Aztec Empire in Mexico. The original tomatoes were smaller in size. They also were yellow as opposed to the tomato-red color that they have today. Strangely they were not sweet to taste.
All the qualities that modern-day tomatoes have today are attributed to the changes in genes that scientists made in the 20th Century.
Tangerine is a delicious and nutritious citrus fruit. Though you may think that it belongs to the orange family, in reality, it does not.
To be considered as a type of orange, tangerine should also have been related to pomelos. Rather tangerines belong to the Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata) family.
A native to Southeast Asia, modern-day tangerines are a result of crossbreeding multiple species of mandarins. The resultant tangerines have softer rinds which make it easier to peel and consume this highly nutritious fruit.
Apple is one of the most nutrition-packed fruits that we all relish today. Surprisingly even apples are a result of incessant human effort to bring them to their modern-day form.
Today, the apples that we eat are sweet, crunchy, and red. However, the original apple species were sour to taste and mostly inedible.
The origins of these wild apples can be traced back to Central Asia where the wild apples (Malus Sieversii) can still be found.
The oldest mention of strawberries dates back to the 14th century in France and Italy. However, the red strawberries that we consume first appeared in History in France in the 18th century.
Notably, it was a French botanist, Antoine Nicolas Duchesne who created the modern-day strawberry on July 6, 1764. He did this by crossing a female Fragaria Chiloenis with a male Fragaria Moschata.
The crossing of strawberry species was a revolution as before this, other botanists did not know that strawberries had male and female parts, before 1764.
Modern-day strawberries (though botanically not a berry), are disease-resistant, much sweeter to taste, and larger in size.
A man-made berry (yes, bananas are technically berries), often counted as a fruit, bananas are man-made fruit.
The bananas that we eat today are an effort of years of selective breeding of two wild banana species namely: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.
The wild species in themselves are inedible and their origins can be traced back to Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region.
A power-packed nutritious citrus fruit, the orange is one of the man-made creations.
It was created by cross-breeding mandarin with pomelo. This crossbreeding was first done in the Southern region of China.
Modern-day oranges are globular in shape and slightly sweet and sour to taste.
Lastly, another man-made citrus fruit that has an interesting documented history. Grapefruit was created in the 17th century when Captain Shaddock, a plantation owner in the West Indies, crossbred pomelos and oranges.
The grapefruits that we consume today are tart and yet have a sweetness to them.
Rich in antioxidants, this is another man-made fruit that is considered terrific for its nutritious value.
The next time you eat a nutritious salad or a delicious fruit bowl, remember that most of the fruits or vegetables that it contains and adds so much nutrition to your diet are all a result of years of man-made effort and ingenuity.
I will catch you in my another article, till then keep reading Evenlyn’s food love.