Amazing Graphics Show How Much Fruits Have Changed Since Humans Started Growing Them
If someone handed you a peach 6,000 years ago, you might be surprised: the sour, grape-sized lump you’d be holding would hardly resemble the plump, juicy fruit we enjoy today.
Throughout the 12,000 years or so since humans first developed agriculture, the foods we eat have undergone drastic transformations. Farmers have found ways to select for different traits when breeding plants, turning out generations of larger, sweeter, and juicier crops.
Australian chemistry teacher James Kennedy got interested in the topic and started doing some research. His findings inspired him to put together a series of infographics explaining how some of our most beloved snacks have changed over the centuries. With Kennedy’s permission we’ve posted three here: Peach, watermelon, and corn.
First up is the peach:
Native to China, the original peach was only a fraction of the size we’re used to today and tasted “like a lentil,” Kennedy writes. “After 6000 years of artificial selection, the resulting peach was 16 times larger, 27% juicier and 4% sweeter than its wild cousin, and had massive increases in nutrients essential for human survival as well.”
Next, the watermelon:
Kennedy writes, “I set out to find the least natural fruit in existence, and decided it was probably the modern watermelon.In 5,000 years, the watermelon has expanded from its original six varieties to a staggering 1,200 different kinds. Modern watermelons are available in a handful of different colors and shapes, and can be bought conveniently seedless. Originally native to a small region of southern Africa, the watermelon is now grown in countries around the world. Modern watermelons are about 100 times heavier than their ancient predecessors and much sweeter. ”
Posted on October 19, 2014, in ARTICLES, NEWS and tagged amazing, article, corn, food, fruit, fruits have changed, graphics, growing fruits, how much, humans, infographic, knowledge, learn, original, peach, resulting, results, show, since, started growing them, watermelon. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.