When you either grow your vegetables in your garden or buy them from the grocery store, you plan to eat them as they are a source of essential nutrients and minerals that your body needs. In addition, vegetables and fruits have some powerful properties to help you stay healthy and help ward off illnesses. However, did you know that many vegetables you grow in your garden and buy from the produce section of your grocery store are not as natural as you think? How could that be when it comes to the vegetables you grow in your garden? That is because many of them, in reality, are man-made! That is right!
Many vegetables that you eat are man-made. How is that possible since you are growing these man-made vegetables in your garden? Think about the different breeds of dogs and cats that you can imagine! They are man-made, too, because of being manipulated by humans that have gotten into the DNA. The same goes for vegetables. Let’s go over some of those vegetables right now.
When you think of carrots, you think of an orange root vegetable with plenty of essential nutrients such as beta carotene or Vitamin A that helps to strengthen your eyesight. However, carrots were not always orange as, during the Roman Empire days, carrots were either white or purple and were also not meant for eating. That is right, carrots at one time were not orange and were inedible.
However, over the years, farmers manipulated carrots to be eaten and lengthened their roots, and the colors changed as well, and eventually, they became yellow. As breeding advanced, today’s carrots are orange, and they are hybrids of yellow and white carrots. It is hard to believe that at one time, they were inedible.
Cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and collards. At one time, these vegetables were derived from the wild mustard plant. During the Roman era, farmers would choose the mustard plants that had large flowers to breed them, which resulted in broccoli and cauliflower.
Then Brussel sprouts were also produced from these plants, and in the 1400s, they were made with excellence in Belgium which is how they ended up with the name Brussel sprouts. If you see purple Brussel sprouts, they were created by a Dutch botanist from the 1940s that cross-bred Brussel sprouts with purple cabbage. Therefore, cruciferous vegetables are man-made, and the chances are that you did not know it.
At one time, corn appeared like pinecones. Over 9,000 years ago, the corn we eat today at one time was the wild grass teosinte or maize. Historians believe that Mexicans from the Tehuancan Valley were the ones who had made changes to the wild grass as they cultivated it. Then they were able to produce several cobs, and over time, they elongated the part of the plant, which is known as corn nowadays.
Corn became popular in Europe in the 1500s when Spaniards brought it there from Mexico. Now, corn is a side vegetable that people grill on the barbecue or in the oven, boil, and make popcorn out of the corn kernels.
Even though cucumbers are technically a fruit, they belong to vegetable groups and are also man-made. The cultivation of cucumbers has happened for over 3,000 years. The cucumbers we eat today originate from spiky fruits known as Cucumis hystrix, or wild cucumbers originating in India. Wild cucumbers still exist, but the cucumbers we eat today derive from that wild fruit based on different breeding forms.
The English, Spanish, and French had bred cucumbers differently, so you see various versions of them. However, the modern cucumber didn’t evolve until sometime in the 19th century. Cucumbers are still evolving because of different breeding forms, which is why you see many small cucumbers now.
Tomatoes are also a fruit, but they are also meant to belong to the vegetable group. Let’s start by saying that tomatoes were not always red as that is the only thing you likely remember about tomatoes since your childhood. Southern America has consistently grown tomatoes for thousands of years. Initially, the belief, according to historians, is that the first tomatoes cultivated by the Aztecs were yellow and small. After that, they were believed to be golden apples, and Spaniards took tomatoes back to Europe in the 1500s.
However, the golden tomatoes were not very sweet, and the reason tomatoes are sweet and red today is that in the 20th century, scientists manipulated their DNA. They also cross-bred different tomatoes to create the most common ones you eat today in your salad or your sandwiches. Yellow tomatoes still exist, but they are not overly popular as they are not sweet.
When you eat your vegetables and fruits, the last thing you think about is how many of them are different from how they were in the past. That is because the evolution of vegetables and fruits results from scientists and farmers cross-breeding them and manipulating them. Therefore, you can bet that most of the vegetables in the salad‘ that you eat are man-made. But, of course, you would not even think about that, considering that they are filled with nutrients that help keep you healthy and strong. However, remember one thing. The manipulation of produce is meant to make them palatable and edible. If it weren’t for the conscious evolution of these vegetables and fruits, you would not want to eat them beyond childhood.