An apple a day…
is what people say. And honestly, the concept is spot on. Getting your daily dose of fruits and veggies is a surefire way to slam your body with some amazing nutrients and keep you out of the doctor’s office.
We include all sources of real food in our diet, from fruits and vegetables to organic meat, raw dairy, wild-caught seafood, whole grains prepared properly, and traditional fats in all their saturated glory!
Because we choose to avoid processed food and genetically modified foods, I’m often asked the question…
“Are hybrid fruits and vegetables good or bad?”
In a world where almost every food is deemed bad, of this I can assure you…
Hybrid fruits and vegetables are totes fine, my friend. Before you protest, let me explain what a hybridized fruit or vegetable is. Hybridization happens when two closely related plants are cross-pollinated. This happens every single minute of the day and has been happening for THOUSANDS of years. It’s the way nature works, girlfriend.
Ever heard of bees? I’m not sure if you’re familiar with these little guys, but they have one job and one job alone. To overdose on pollen. As bees move from plant to plant they cross-pollinate. The same thing happens with wind. Random hybridization happens again and again and can bring about new species of plants over time.
The fact that in today’s world it happens with a little more strategy and intent shouldn’t scare you. Man-made hybrid fruits and vegetables can be as simple as a farmer using a pollinator to create a new species of blackberry without pesky thorns, or producing an orange with less seeds.
I hate to break this to you, but you’re a hybrid…
It’s true. You are the result of many cross-pollinations, and obviously, you’re pretty amazing. ‘Nuff said. Next time you eat a tangelo, pomelo, or pluot and wonder if these hybrid fruits and vegetables are normal, just remember that most “normal” fruits and vegetables to us today are also hybrids.
And remember that many if not most “normal” fruits and vegetables we eat today are modern creations – the familiar yellow banana, boysenberries (a hybrid of raspberries and blackberries), grapefruit, Meyer lemons, and numerous apple varieties. We’ve been cross-pollinating plants for centuries.
-Mark’s Daily Apple (source)
Aren’t heirloom seeds best?
I love eating heirloom fruits and vegetables. I doubt they are legitimately ‘heirloom’ because, well, bees, but nevertheless, I love enjoying some older varieties of fruits and vegetables along with some new varieties that pop up. We grow heirloom carrots but eat pomelos for 3 months straight from January to March when our pomelo tree explodes with fruit.
I think it all comes down to preference. Some enjoy heirloom fruits because of the lower sugar content and earthy flavors, and some enjoy a newer variety.
What’s the difference between ‘hybrid’ and ‘GMO’?
Like we’ve talked about before, hybrid fruits and vegetables come from a process that happens naturally over time, and while it can be sped up by a determined farmer, it’s generally considered a natural practice.
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are created by combining the DNA molecules from multiple species to create a sort of a ‘franken-food’. Some of the DNA is changed to be embedded with pesticides and herbicides. It’s one thing to spray a pesticide on a food, and completely another to put that pesticide directly into the DNA of the food.
Whatever your opinion on GMO food, you can know that hybridized fruits and vegetables don’t come close to the level of alteration that happens in GMOs.
I’ve heard that we should eat fruits or vegetables with seeds because they carry more ‘energy’ and have ‘fertility benefits’ and that seedless fruit causes cancer and turns people into zombies!
Honestly, if you want to believe that fruits and vegetables with seeds are better for you, I say, “Go for it!” For me and mine, we’ll continue to eat all forms of fruits or vegetables whether they’re hybrid or heirloom– and focus on eating as much as our little tummies can handle.