Fruits and vegetables that are man-made? Yes, you read that right! As hard as it may be to believe, many of your favorite fresh fruits and beloved vegetables might be man-made.
While many people shudder at the thought of eating fruits and vegetables developed by their fellow homo sapiens, you might be enjoying these fruits and veggies unknowingly.
Humans are highly intelligent and exceptionally creative when it comes to procuring delicious foods.
Fruits and vegetables are among those creative endeavors humans took upon the task to enhance the appearance and tastes of foods.
But what are man-made foods anyways and why do people prefer to change the appearance, flavors, and colors of fruits and vegetables?
In fact, many man-made foods like fruits and vegetables are confused with GMO foods (genetically modified foods) that contain a myriad of side effects.
If you are curious to know which of your favorite vegetables or fruit has been modified through cross-breeding or developed in a laboratory to enhance the taste or flavor of fruits and veggies, we’ve got you covered.
Here is a complete guide to man-made fruits and vegetables to not only help you understand what they are but also know which of your favorite fruits or veggies are man-made.
Table of Contents
What are Man-Made Fruits and Vegetables?
Ideally, man-made fruits are vegetables that are a hybrid of two different plants that have deliberately cross-bred.
These plants have the same parent plant but carry different traits. Through cross-breeding of the plants that carry desired traits, you are able to achieve fruits or vegetables that have selective elements to enhance your eating experience.
The process of deliberately breeding two different plants is referred to as selective breeding which can be conducted both naturally and organically but also through scientific and technological means.
Generally, Man-made or hybrid fruits and vegetables do not require any additional pesticides or fertilizer, in fact, these plants are quite beneficial for the soil, as they act as a catalyst to transfer more nutrients to the soil.
Selectively cross-breeding plants is a complicated and time-consuming process that can take up to hundreds of years to achieve desired results.
Man-Made Fruits and vegetables are often low-maintenance plants that are bred to provide your fruits and vegetables with an enhanced taste, color, texture, and flavor.
Why were Man-Made Fruits and Vegetables Developed?
While most people consider all forms of fruits and vegetables to be a product of unfiltered and unobstructed nature, the practice of creating the perfect fruits and vegetables is older than you may think.
Many hybrids of fruits and vegetables were developed to create a more palatable taste and achieve a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Due to the enhanced taste and appearance of these delicious plants, farmers had to find a way to mass-produce their crops to not only meet their domestic demands but also their export demands.
Hence, making man-made or crossbred fruits and vegetables a matter of great economic importance.
Furthermore, the benefits of these man-made fruits and vegetables went beyond economic growth.
The development of man-made hybrid foods allowed many low-income families to integrate different forms of foods to curate a nutritionally balanced diet.
What is the difference between Man-Made and GMO Fruits and Vegetables?
Most people consider man-made and GMO fruits and vegetables to be the same thing, however, this is far from true.
Man-made foods are a product of human intervention, these fruits and vegetables are specifically and selectively bred to achieve desired traits.
Fruits and vegetables that are GMO or Genetically Modified Organisms are produced by scientifically adding the genes of one plant to another which would never occur in nature.
To simply explain, the key difference between man-made and GMO fruits and vegetables is that while man-made plants are naturally occurring, GMO foods often opt for scientific and unnatural elements.
Are there any Side Effects of Eating Man-Made Fruits and Vegetables?
Although man-made fruits and vegetables are a product of a naturally occurring breeding process, there might be certain side effects of consuming such foods.
Man-Made fruits and vegetables can be incredibly high in terms of their starch and sugar content and also have an imbalanced mineral ratio.
Plus many man-made fruits and vegetables are specifically developed to carry certain characteristics making them sensitive to environmental changes.
To solve this issue these man-made fruits and vegetables are often covered in pesticides and insecticides to increase their longevity.
The overspray of these chemicals can lead to severe health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, mineral deficiencies, obesity, diabetes, infertility, and even some forms of cancer.
Are there any Benefits of Consuming Man-Made Fruits and Vegetables?
Man-made fruits and vegetables were specifically developed to dominate natural foods in terms of their productivity and consistency.
The main reason to consume man-made fruits and vegetables is that these foods often contain ideal traits.
Man-made fruits and vegetables were specifically developed to provide you with visually appealing foods with a palatable taste.
Hence, man-made fruits and vegetables are more delicious and aesthetically pleasing when compared to their wilder counterparts.
Furthermore, man-made fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients when compared to foods that are not hybrid, making them a healthier and a better component for a nutritionally balanced diet.
A list of some Common Fruits and Vegetables that are Man-Made:
Believe it or not but your favorite fruit or vegetable might not be as natural as you may think.
In fact, many of the common fruits and vegetables you find laying around in the supermarket aisles are man-made.
Here is a list of some of the most common man-made fruits and vegetables that will shock you:
Bananas are among the most popular fruits around the world and are a great source of calcium and magnesium.
But the journey of these beloved bananas from trees to your plate to top-off pancakes is a product of a long evolutionary journey.
Bananas ideally evolved from a wild banana plant called Musa balbisiana which was a larger seed plant that did not bear any fruit.
Bananas were developed by cross-breeding two forms of wild banana plants Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata another plant that contained smaller okra pods.
Apples are a great supplement for all your health-related needs and requirements that are mass-produced and sold worldwide.
Apple trees were originally native to Kazakhstan in central Asia that carried sour and spicy inedible fruits.
With human intervention and a lot of trials and errors, there are now about 7500 different varieties of apples around the world.
Corns are a perfect snacking partner for any occasion! Whether you love to indulge in buttery corn on the cob or you like to munch on crunchy popcorn at the movies.
Corn was discovered by a Cornell University graduate George W. Beadle teosinte grass from Mexico contained corn kernels. He later won the Nobel prize for cross-breeding maize and teosinte to create corn.
Not only are watermelons the perfect summer snack but they are also among the oldest fruits in the world.
According to archeologists, watermelon seeds have been dated back to about 5000 years.
While the older watermelon variants had lighter flesh colors, the newer forms of water have darker skin and a richer taste.
Tomatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants that help rejuvenate your skin and provide a myriad of health benefits.
Older versions of tomatoes were pale green and color and were found in the Aztec empire and Europe.
Later these juicy vegetables were discovered by the Spanish during the early 1700s and bred into the tomatoes that we know and love today.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin E and A as well as are highly beneficial for children, especially during their early stages of development.
The origin story of carrots dates back to about 1000 years in the middle east when the carrots did not have their vibrant orange color instead they were pale purple and white in color.
The orange color of carrots came from the beta-carotene that gives carrot vitamin A and their iconic orange color.
Believe it or not but cauliflowers are man-made and are made from the Brassica Oleracea family.
Cauliflowers date back about 2000 years when these vegetables appeared in the Mediterranean.
According to some historians, cauliflowers were first bred by the ancient Etruscans in the Tuscan area in Italy.
Sweet, delicious, and delectable are the perfect adjectives to describe strawberries.
While wild strawberries had a stronger aroma and richer taste, they often had a shorter shelf life.
The newer strawberries on the other hand have been bred to have a longer shelf-life by adding fertilizers and pesticides.
Oranges are another common and beloved fruit that is a creation of human genius.
Oranges are a hybrid made from two pre-existing fruits from the same family, pomelo, and mandarin.
Eggplants have been domesticated from bitter apples or vegetables called the wild nightshade.
From this species, two domesticated species of eggplants emerged in South Asia and East Asia.
Peanuts nowadays are a cross between two ancient plants, Arachis Duranensis which are native to Andean Valley, and Arachis Ipaensis which is native to Bolivia.
Grapefruits originated back in 1693 when a farmer named Captain Shaddock decided to cross-breed pomelo and oranges.
In 1750, these sweet fruits were discovered in Europe however they were deemed as the “forbidden fruit”.