We often think of the plants around us as unchanging, but the greenery around us has changed a lot over time. Fruits and vegetables today are almost unrecognizable from what they were before we started cultivating them. Here are the before-and-after photos for 10 fruits and veggies that have changed drastically.
You might not think this yellow vegetable is impressive, but it has actually adapted a lot since prehistoric times. The tasty crop is actually derived from teosinte, a plant that looks nothing like its modern relative. The small, thin crop has few kernels, and humans needed to use a blunt object just to break them out of their shells. When humans began to cultivate the land, they continually selected the bigger crops that had more kernels, leading to the corn we know today. Unbelievably, modern corn contains 4 times the natural amount of sugar as teosinte.
These delicious and nutritious beauties are actually very different from their ancestors. The original avocado was tiny – it only grew to 3 inches in diameter. The pit took up most of the space of the fruit, leaving only the dark outer ring of the flesh. According to Be Amazed, “It would take close to ten wild avocados to get the same amount of flesh that you would get with a single modern version of the fruit.” Avocados were also protected by a hard shell, as opposed to the soft skin we are all familiar with.
The original peach actually looked more like a cherry than its modern self. Over 30% of the fruit’s area was taken up by its pit. The ancient peaches tasted “earthly, sweet, sour, and slightly salty.” Peaches are now 64 times larger than they originally were. The flesh makes up 90% of the fruit, and it is sweeter and juicier than ever before.
It may be hard to believe, but eggplants were round once. These nutritious vegetables came in multiple colors: white, yellow, or even blue. Eggplants were originally used for medicinal purposes. Their bitter aftertaste has been replaced by a much more enjoyable one, and the veggies are now deep purple in color and oblong in shape.
Wild strawberries were actually way sweeter than their current counterparts. In fact, Be Amazed asserts that the wild ones were “the better version of the fruit.” They were also way smaller than they are now. Farmers selected strawberries for their size, appearance, and resistance to disease. Eventually, the fruit lost most of its flavor – which is hard to imagine because it is still so delicious today.
This fruit’s wild ancestor was the size of a berry and came in different colors, including yellow, green, and purple. The first cultivated tomatoes were small and yellow, and from there they transformed into the cherry tomato, which evolved into the more popular red tomato. The fruit became less and less flavorful as it lost its genes that created sugar, but it is still excellent for your health.
These delicious snacks originated in Persia and were white or purple in color. They were small and thin, but had a strong flavor. In Europe, farmers selectively bred carrots to be sweeter and larger, resulting in the big, yummy veggie we know and love. They actually get their orange color from the species that was cultivated in Holland; it has completely taken over in popularity.
Wild cucumbers were once small and covered in spikes; they were also full of seeds. It is hard to believe these strange vegetables were related to our modern cucumber – they were actually extremely toxic to humans. Cucumbers were cultivated for medicinal purposes, but they have now become a delicious veggie that is 90% water.
You would not recognize a wild banana if you saw one. They were “filled with large, tough seeds that were spread across the fruit’s interior.” Bananas were once inedible raw, but they may have been cooked before consumption. Modern bananas are a hybrid of two wild varieties, and they have more nutrients than ever before.
Watermelons are pretty impressive. In fact, Be Amazed asserts that “they are one of the fruits that have most drastically changed in appearance over the years.” Believe it or not, wild watermelons only measured two inches in diameter. They were bitter once, but they eventually grew 1500 times bigger, and became sweeter and fleshier. Watermelons’ color even became more vibrant. They would be completely unrecognizable from their ancient ancestors.
Fruits and vegetables have changed A LOT since humans began cultivating crops. Some are better, some are worse, but all are still delicious and great for you.
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Source: Be Amazed