This Is What Fruits And Vegetables Looked Like Before We Domesticated Them
The world has ever been changing. Humans too have undergone decades of evolution and bear little resemblance to their ancestors. Hence it is more than evitable that the fruits and vegetables that we eat today are very much different from their forebears. With advancement in technology and farming methods, genetically modified organisms, food has undergone a whole lot of changes, not only in the appearance but also in its taste and shelf life.
And once we started planting hybridized seeds, the full grown fruit went a plethora of changes to become what we see now. Here are some of the fruits and vegetables that looked a lot different in the early ages as compared to what meets the eyes now.
The watermelon depicted in the 17th-century painting by Giovanni Stanchi looks a lot different from what we have now. Before domestication, the placenta had low amounts of lycopene hence the faint red colour. Today we have also created seedless varieties of watermelon, which would slowly become the standard form.
The watermelons now have been bred into much smaller pieces with a fine while division between the thick skin and the red edible flesh (watermelon’s placenta).
The first bananas are said to be cultivated around 7,000 years ago in what is now known as Papua New Guinea. It was in the 15th and the 16th century that the banana plantations were established in Atlantic Islands, Brazil, and Western Africa. It was only in the 1880’s that banana started to be consumed on a large scale.
The modern day banana comes from two two wild varieties, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, which had large hard seeds.
The present day banana has much smaller seeds, has more nutritional value, has been conjectured, and tastes much better.
Throughout the history, eggplants have been cultivated in a variety of forms, in different shapes and colours such as white, azure, purple, and yellow. The earliest versions were cultivated in China and used to have spines at the place where the plant’s stem connects to the flower.
Modern eggplant got rid of the spines, giving us a larger oblong purple version that we find in the market now.
Carrots were originally purple/white and very thin and bore little resemblance to the carrots we have today. A mutation resulted in the fading away of the purple pigmentation creating a brand new race of yellow carrots that is the ancestor of the present day orange version.
Upon further developments, the farmers then turned the thin and strong flavored roots into the larger, juicy and much tastier roots we enjoy today.
The present day edible sweet corn is the biggest example of selective breeding. It was bred from the barely edible teosinte plant. Natural sweet corn was first domesticated in 7000 B.C. and was dry like a potato. It had only 1.9% sugar.
The present day sweet corn is 1000 times larger, much easier to peel and comprises of 6.6% of sugar.
Well, this only makes us wonder, how the present day veggies and fruits will pave way to new forms in the coming years!
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