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If you care about what you put in your body, you likely try to avoid foods stocked full of artificial ingredients and sweeteners. Believe it or not, many fruits and vegetables are man made. Let’s get started with the most common man made vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Thousands of years ago, farmers used the process of natural selection to produce the best harvest possible. These methods allowed the creation of many of the grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits available today. Farmers and manufacturers today use many of those same processes, however, as seen below.
Table of Contents
- Man Made Vegetables
- Man Made Fruits
- Man Made Nuts and Grains
Man Made Vegetables
Many of the vegetables you see in the grocery store are man made. Though they are healthy foods, they ultimately come from selective breeding. Learn more in the information below.
Are Beans Man Made?
Not every bean is man made. Soybeans, however, are. They date back to 7,000 BC in China, likely from the Glycine soja legume.
Most scientists agree that farmers in China used the seeds of the Glycine soja to create the soybean.
This process likely began in 2,000 or 1,000 BC. Soy fermentation from these beans began in the third century. Farmers throughout Asia made tofu and soy milk from these ingredients, for instance. There are more genetic modifications in this food in modern times, however. According to scientific data, over 82% of soybeans in the United States come from genetic changes.
Are Modern Cucumbers Man Made Vegetable?
The cucumbers of the modern world are significantly different than what they originally were. The name of the original food was Cucumis hystrix, and it existed in India. It has a unique, spiny-like appearance.
Romans helped to bring the Cucumis hystrix to the rest of Europe. The Romans, French, Spanish, and English people curated the plant until it became the cucumber varieties loved by many today. The final, modern version of the vegetable, however, did not exist until the nineteenth century.
Is the Orange Color of Carrots Man Made?
Carrots were not always orange. They were first yellow when considering the last few centuries! These came from either purple or white carrots, however. They date back to Persian farmers from the 900s.
The original carrots also had shorter roots than the modern-day alternatives. Eventually, Persian farmers bred the vegetables together to develop one long stem. Soon after, the color transformed to orange.
Farmers still breed carrots in modern times. They hope to achieve the perfect color, root size, or flavor, for instance.
Is Cabbage Man Made?
Green leafy salads, including cabbage, are also man made vegetables. Other foods included under this category, however, are collard greens, for instance.
In ancient Greek and Roman times, people originally planted wild mustard leaves to eat. Eventually, these plants transformed into the kale with its specific taste and collard greens through selective breeding. The taste of the greens varied on the location where the farmers planted them.
In the 1600s, people began to plant mustard greens with larger leaves, eventually creating cabbage. When these vegetables had a thick stem became kohlrabi. Ultimately, all of these vegetables are members of the Brassica oleracea family.
Most agree that broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower came from mustard greens too. Those leaves with large flowers became broccoli or cauliflower. Any plant that had a small head became a Brussel sprout.
Many scientists continued to experiment with mustard greens well into the twentieth century too. A Russian man named Georgii Karpechenko tried to combine the radish and cabbage, for instance, to make a rabbage. Unfortunately, this vegetable never became popular.
A company in Japan, called the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, even created a new vegetable within this family in 1993. The staff bred broccoli and kai-lan. Broccolini was the result, a popular ingredient in Asian cooking.
Is Broccoli Man Made?
To put it bluntly – yes – broccoli is man made. Broccoli did not always exist as the plant we all know and love today, in fact it was created by humans through an extensive process. Initially, broccoli was grown in Italy and shipped to America and England in the early 1700s and then of course, to the rest of the world. Now that you know, that broccoli was made by man 2000 years prior to you and I even existing, you’re probably wondering how they had managed to do this with very little facilities. The answer is not what you think. Broccoli is indeed man made, but it wasn’t made in a lab by genetic modification of an existing plant, rather through a process called selective breeding.
Selective breeding or artificial selection is where we focus on a certain plant species that stands out through their larger, tastier attributes or by greater yielding. Selective breeding process involves the attempt to reproduce this plant to obtain future crops with better plants.
Is Cauliflower a Man Made Vegetable?
Yes, cauliflower is man made. Cauliflower is a plant with all parts of this plant being edible, including the leaves and stems. Though this vegetable is mostly grown for its large flowering head, used in a variety of dishes. Unsurprisingly, cauliflower didn’t always exist like it does so commonly today.
Of course its only explanation of existence, is through selective breeding. Even back in the olden times, farmers favoured plants with more generous yields, flavourful fruits, fewer seeds, an edible pulp and more. This has resulted in an artificial selection process that birthed distinct variants of some attributes of existing plants, or an entirely new plant altogether.
This breeding method isn’t limited to plants only, oh no, this process has been introduced amongst animals as well. More specifically, breeding parents with special characteristics produce offspring with identically special traits. Fortunately, cauliflower exists thanks to the cleverness of man. Without selective breeding cauliflower will not have grown to exist as we know it.
Are Potatoes Man Made?
Yes, potatoes are indeed man made. Whilst many would assume that the potato is a naturally occurring vegetable, when in fact it is a clone. The original potato was created by humans through cloning, which is the process of creating an identical copy of something by replicating its DNA.
Contrary to what many may think, these cloned potatoes aren’t created in a lab. In hindsight, most potatoes are genetically identical to each other, with most potatoes having been descended from a few varieties. The first step in this process was when European explorers brought back small samples of native potatoes from South America and planted them in Europe.
These plants then reproduced with each other, creating new generations of genetically identical tubers – which has continued throughout history as breeders have selected varieties with desirable traits, like size, taste and texture – to create more crops.
Is Garlic Man Made?
Humans helped to make garlic into what it is today. Farmers in ancient India domesticated the Allium longicuspis over 6,000 years ago.
These Indian people immediately recognized the medicinal benefits coming from the plant, so they tried to create a simpler version. Ultimately, garlic came about.
Cultivated garlic is sterile, however. Scientists and farmers have to propagate the plant manually to create more.
Man Made Fruits
Just like vegetables, there are many man made fruits as well. Even bananas, for instance, are a crossbreed of two other products. Continue reading below to learn more about man made fruits.
Are Strawberries Man Made?
Modern-day strawberries came from the wild variety in France in the 1700s. The latter fruit was small and much sweeter.
The goal was to make the strawberry bigger, which humans have tried to do since the fourteenth century. Success was not possible, however, until the 1700s, as aforementioned.
Nicolas Duchesne bred the Fragaria moschata with the Fragaria chiloensis. With his team of botanists, he developed the modern-day strawberry. The current size of the fruit is up to 20 times bigger than the wild strawberry.
Are Tomatoes Man Made?
Modern-day tomatoes are technically man made. The original fruit was small and yellow, existing primarily in Aztec communities in South America.
When Spanish conquistadors came to the Amazon rainforests, they brought the “golden apples” to Europe. The tomatoes spread like wildfire throughout the United Kingdom, Italy, and China especially.
Red tomatoes did not exist until the mid-twentieth century. Modern scientists worked to create a sweet fruit in labs around the world.
Eventually, these professionals learned that they could crossbreed different tomato species and adjust the “u” phenotype. Yellow tomatoes are still available to purchase today, however, but they are not as popular as the red variety.
Are Grapefruits Man Made?
Grapefruits are the first citrus fruit on this list that are man made. They only came into existence in 1693. “Captain Shaddock,” an explorer, helped to create the grapefruit.
After one of his expeditions to Indonesia, Captain Shaddock brought back pomelo seeds with him. He planted them near his orange trees, causing the two fruits to crossbreed unintentionally. The result, therefore, was the grapefruit.
The grapefruit first had the name “shaddock” because of Captain Shaddock. The fruit spread throughout the world beginning in 1750, when a man from England, Reverend Griffith Hughes, learned about it.
When grapefruit first showed up in the United States, many people thought it was a pomelo. Scientists did not discover the origins of this tropical food until the mid-twentieth century. Some countries still do not even know what a grapefruit is.
Are Bananas Man Made?
Modern-day bananas would never exist if farmers did invent them over 10,000 years ago. These individuals combined two wild fruits called the Musa acuminta and the Musa balbisiana.
The Musa balbisiana fruit had too many seeds for individuals to enjoy the sweet flesh of the interior. The Musa acuminata, however, had a soft texture, but the taste was gross. The farmers learned to combine all of the best things about each fruit to create the modern banana.
The Musa Acuminate and the Musa balbisiana combined naturally in the wild to create the first banana. Unfortunately, the fruit was sterile, however. Farmers in south Asia quickly learned that they could replant the banana shoots to make more, however.
Any banana that exists today is a genetic twin of the shoot used to create it. If one disease came to this type of plant, it could wipe out this fruit for good.
Are Oranges Man Made?
There are many types of oranges available today, but this fruit came from the minds of men. The mandarin is the original ancestor of this food. Most agree that farmers in Indochina and China invented the orange by crossbreeding a pomelo and mandarin.
Typically, pomelos have a bitter taste, similar to that of a grapefruit. Mandarins, however, have the traditionally orange color and a sweet flavor.
Italians discovered the existence of oranges with seeds in the fifteenth century. They fell in love with the sweet and citrusy taste, spreading the fruit across the rest of Europe, especially in the Mediterranean area.
The tangerine is another created citrus fruit that is similar to an orange, however. It directly comes from mandarins. Farmers only had to manipulate mandarins, however, to make this type of fruit.
Are Boysenberries Man Made?
Boysenberries are a more obscure and lesser-known fruit. Rudolph Boysen only created them in 1923, making them less than a hundred years old.
Boysen planted berry vines of all varieties on a farm in Anaheim that belonged to his in-laws. Unfortunately, the fruit never took off as Boysen hoped.
Walter Knott heard about the berry, however, asking Boysen if he could help. He brought the hybrid to life, opening up Knott’s Berry Farm soon after.
Boysenberries, more specifically, are a blend of blackberries with either raspberries or loganberries. Some believe, however, that Rudolph Boysen first experimented with a combination of the dewberry and loganberry instead.
Are Apple Varieties Man Made?
Every apple comes from one specific kind, the Malus sieversii. It is the oldest variety, originating from Central Asia.
Traders along the Silk Road helped to spread the Malus sieversii to the rest of Asia and Europe. Eventually, it migrated to North America.
When the Malus sieversii encountered a new climate, it would slightly change in terms of taste or color, for instance. Now, there are over 7,500 varieties of this fruit that people around the world enjoy.
What are the Man Made Origins of Lemons?
Lemons are also a man made fruit. Most citrus options have similar origins, however. Here you can read our article on whether lemon is a fruit or vegetable.
Most scientists agree that lemons came from Assam, a town in India. Most agree that farmers crossbred the sour orange and citron to create this tart fruit.
Lemons spread to Europe in the second century, arriving in the Middle East and the Mediterranean in the eighth. The United States did not get lemons until the 1800s.
Man Made Nuts and Grains
Finally, there are several man made nuts and grains. Some of your favorite snacks, like peanuts and almonds, for instance, come from the minds of humans. Learn more about these in the information provided below.
Are Almonds Man Made?
Believe it or not, in the wild, almonds are incredibly poisonous for human consumption. When you eat a large number of them, you run the risk of fatalities.
Wild almonds also have a bitter taste in comparison to the sweetness you may expect from this nut. They would not go well in the desserts and candies you may know and love.
Edible almonds likely come from the Amygdalus fenzliana, but historians are not confident about this nut’s origins. Most agree that the tree aforementioned, however, produces something similar in taste and appearance.
Scientists still do not understand how something so tasty came from a potentially fatal plant, however. They do know that almonds first traveled on the Silk Road for trade and consumption. They originated from central Asian countries like China.
Are Peanuts Man Made?
The modern peanut is a hybrid food. Humans and bees worked together to create this tasty snack.
In ancient times, there were two types of peanuts, which dated back to BC times. First, in Bolivia and Argentina, there was the Arachis duranensis. In just Bolivia, however, the people ate the Arachnis ipaensis.
These two plants were completely different from one another. It was nearly impossible for them to crossbreed out of their own volition.
Thankfully, however, farmers brought the Arachis duranensis variety to the mountains of Bolivia. Bees cross-pollinated the two plants, as the Arachis ipaensis was already in the country’s localities. The outcome was the modern-day peanut.
Is Rice Man Made?
Rice began as a type of grass called Oryza rufipogon. Modern versions of this food originated over 10,000 years ago in the Pearl River Valley in China.
Rice did not come to America until the 1500s. It was a staple in Asia, however, thousands of years before. If you are interested to learn if rice is a vegetable you can read more in our article.
Scientists began making hybrids of rice in the late twentieth century. These versions are much more profitable, so many manufacturers will sell them instead.
How is Corn Man Made?
Corn is different from its original look. It closely resembled a pinecone when first made!
Mexican farmers discovered wild corn over 9,000 years ago. It grew in teosinte grass, which is more popularly known as maize. Farmers throughout the Tehuacan Valley worked to make this plant edible for human consumption.
The Mayan people helped to improve maize harvests and propagation. Through crossbreeding, they were able to produce plants that had two to three cobs on them. Eventually, the result elongated into modern-day corn, spreading to Europe in the 1400s.
You may feel surprised at how many fruits and vegetables are man made. Remember, some nuts and grains come through artificial selection too.
Most of the man made foods improve the original taste of the plant. They also enhance the possible transformations available in one fruit or vegetable, for instance.
Be thankful for the expertise of scientists and farmers around the world. Without their knowledge, you would never be able to serve a banana at breakfast or collard greens at dinner, for instance.
What Vegetables are Artificially Selected?
Many of the most beloved vegetables came from artificial selection and crossbreeding. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and collard greens, for instance, came from the mustard plant.
On the other hand, carrots and cucumbers received a completely new look through selective breeding. Even some beans, like soybeans, come from other legumes and crossbreeding.
Which Foods are Man Made?
The most common man-made foods found today are: bananas, corn, watermelons, apples, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, strawberries, eggplants, oranges, cauliflower, broccoli and more.
What are Man Made Fruits?
Man made fruits are those created by humans through cross-breeding and selective breeding to create new varieties with desirable traits, such as flavour or appearance.
Which Fruits and Vegetables are Man-Made?
Broccoli, cauliflower, corn, bananas, carrots, watermelons, apples, peanuts, and many more fruits and vegetables are actually man-made.
What are Man Made Vegetables?
Man made vegetables is the definition of vegetables made by human interference, such as selective breeding, genetic engineering or the process of replicating its DNA.
Are Nuts Man Made?
Although most nuts are found in trees, some of the nuts we find in our local supermarket today are indeed man made.