The next time you bite into a juicy piece of watermelon or indulge in the succulent experience of eating corn on the cob, remember that the crops once looked and tasted drastically different than they do today.
Foods such as bananas and eggplants have been selectively bred over centuries (which is a different process than splicing genes, referred to as genetically engineering) so they have traits which humans prefer, such as fewer seeds and tastier flesh.
Selective breeding entails a farmer selecting and growing crops that have preferred traits so that over time, the majority of the crop produces foods which are tastier and easier to eat.
Wild watermelon, for example, has been bred so that it produces more flesh than seeds.
Bananas, as well, once had hard more hard seeds than the sweet edible portion.
From carrots to corn, plants have evolved with human intervention so that they are now drastically different than they once were when our Paleolithic ancestors consumed them. The intriguing video below highlights this and more.
According to Bruce Chasey, executive associate director of the Biotechnology Center at the University of Illinois, we altered these plants so much that they developed into crops that would never survive in the wild without human care.
Here are some of the fruits and veggies, that looked totally different before we first started growing them to eat:
FEARS ABOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
One reason the public worries about genetically modified foods is that it can trigger an allergy in humans.
Some of the genes used during the process may have been taken from other foods that people are allergic to and they have no way of knowing about it.
Another issues is other organisms in the ecosystem could be harmed, which could be followed by a lower level of biodiversity.
Some genetically modified foods use bacteria and virus, so there is a fear a new disease will emerge.