Thousands of years of human breeding transformed wild species into the domesticated varieties we enjoy every year. Most of these foods were originally found in the Americas. Some of my favorite details:
- The original domesticated carrots were purple. Carrots were bred to be orange by Dutch farmers in the 17th century, and then used as a political symbol of the ruling family – the House of Orange.
- The ancestors of pumpkins were mainly eaten by mastodons and giant sloths – they were too bitter for smaller animals to stomach.
- Turkeys were bred to have white plumage so their skin would be more uniform in color.
Get ready to chow down on some seriously engineered foods!
When someone disses GMO foods show them this. We’ve been changing organisms since we started farming.
To be fair, there’s a big difference between what we can do with selective breeding and what we can do with GMOs. No matter how many generations you try, the likelihood of getting plants that glow when water-deprived or goats with spidersilk protein in their milk purely from selective breeding is extremely unlikely. (Only bacteria can do this sort of stuff naturally.) Not to mention that the changes we can make with both methods happen in a single generation for GMOs.
I’m not a fan of the random ascientific fear-mongering around GMOs, but don’t pretend they’re equivalent to selectively bred organisms. They really are something entirely new (OK, now I have a Steven Universe song in my head).