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Noted: The Business of Hybrid Fruit

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chaps676

I’ll take a nectarine any old day of the week. Even pluots, a plum-apricot mix, are delicious during the late summer. But I draw the line at Grapples. Since most grocery stores tend to stick to standard produce offerings, the hybrid fruit industry seems mysterious, conjuring images of scientists clad in lab coats, plopping seeds into fizzy beakers. But for the Zaiger family, hybrid fruit is a daily reality on their farm, where creating the pluerry — a plum-cherry crossbreed — has been an elusive, 50-year ordeal. Costing several decades and thousands of dollars, what is it about hybrid fruit that keeps farmers experimenting, knowing that even if they develop a variety, it might still be a flop with consumers?

For Floyd Zaiger, it’s almost completely about passion. After graduating with a degree in plant pathology, Floyd Zaiger became obsessed with fruit breeding during an apprenticeship with Fred Anderson, a man known as “the father of the nectarine.” Since then, the Zaiger family has developed over 100 varieties of fruit — 30 of which are peaches and nectarines. Though there are fast techniques, like messing with plant DNA, Zaiger keeps it low-tech. Once he finds a tree with a specific flavor that he likes, he collects its pollen with an eye shadow brush, then transfers it to the pistil of another tree. “We grow 50,000 crosses per year, and if we can get one (that works) out of every 10,000, we can break even,” Zaiger told The San Francisco Gate. But that’s not to say it isn’t profitable — for Zaiger’s most popular varietal, the pluot, growers pay a $2.25 royalty fee per tree, along with 15 percent of sales from their crop.

Zaiger’s goal is to make irresistible fruit with so much natural sugar, that a child would forsake candy. Though it might take something big to make us drop the Snickers in favor of one of Zaiger’s creations, the pluerry could be the start. After watching customers eat more than one bite at a recent tasting, Leith Gardner, one of Zaiger’s fruit breeders, thinks the pluerry has promise. “If they eat it down to the pit, you know it was a real winner,” says Gardner in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The Zaigers will keep trying to predict the next big thing in fruit, even if it takes multiple decades. “No piece of fruit or tree is ever perfect,” Gardner adds. “There’s always things that Mother Nature is doing that needs to be improved upon.”

More Noted Posts | Plants and Edibles Category

Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.

4 Featured Comments

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  • UltimateOrganicSoap

    UltimateOrganicSoap says: Featured

    I am so hesitant to the creation of new, natural foods when there are thousands and thousands of viable vegitable and plant seeds that are no longer used and only exist in seed banks, waiting for some climatic/political/economical catastrophy to bring them into use again. It's frightening to think that hundreds of apple species have disappeared in the last 50-100 years, as well as pears, beans, corn.... really almost any type of vegetable. I am truly concerned about nutrition in-take for our future generations as more and more of the food given to us by Nature/God/The Universe vanishes. It makes me very happy that such produce cannot be legally sold in my country.

    2 years ago

  • Winstonthefrenchie

    Winstonthefrenchie says: Featured

    I happen to be a horticulturist and couldn't disagree more with last statement that we need to improve on mother nature. Fruits and vegetables non-hybridized, not covered with insecticides, fungisides etc. are always better for you than their counterpart. Many, not all growers are making new fruits and vegetables not for their taste but for how well that they travel in 18 wheelers packed for weeks at time so that they get to you in perfect shape. There are seeds out there that are not hybridized that can still be grown. Best place to buy your produce is local and for it to be organic. My son will not eat brocc. or cauliflower unless it came from our garden. He will not eat eggs from the store either, only the ones from our hens. Like the seedless watermelon, I have yet to find one that tastes as sweet as a seeded one.

    2 years ago

  • PruAtelier

    PruAtelier says: Featured

    In today's world of "frankenfoods' I would would think of hybridization as just that but it is not. Hybridization - cross pollination - has been going on for centuries with roses, etc. and it cannot be compared to the laboratory specimens that have their DNA mixed with completely different species such as mixing plant and fish.....UGH! That being said, hybridization often does not capture the characteristic taste and scent that belongs to the original and results in a tasteless and scentless but sometimes a surprisingly beautiful product!

    2 years ago

  • bunnywithatoolbelt

    bunnywithatoolbelt says: Featured

    I completely underscore smallfly's comment. My family has grown citrus in California for decades and I still remember my grandfather's fascination with hybrids. It was a hobby for him, much like some choose bonsai or flower arranging--they are all ways that humans and nature can interact relatively safely (not saying the plants like being cut and arranged!) I was just reading about pluots and their "inventor." enjoy! http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/12/MNOF1JR7JK.DTL

    2 years ago

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts says:

    Is it possible to engineer these hybrids to include more anti-oxidants?

    2 years ago

  • tarikyousef

    tarikyousef says:

    I gre up eating traditional fuits and enjoying them as if they were candy. These days I have to be cautious in the grocery store because locally here in Ohio I keep running into hybrid fruit that simply does not taste as good as regular fruit. Often I find that it is overly watery and sweet, yet it lacks all the great flavors I grew up loving in fruit. It scares me that some day I may not be able to find a regular peach in the grocery store. At a recent farmers market a man was sellling fresh peaches and the flavor is something I have not tasted since I was a kid, seems like even run of the mill Peaches have lost thier essence.

    2 years ago

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads says:

    i want a pluerry!

    2 years ago

  • AzureLaine

    AzureLaine says:

    Antioxidants are naturally present in all produce, so forming hybrids may or may not increase the antioxidant power. They give plants their color (including white, which we often assume is the absence of color). Plants with deep, or saturated color are generally high in antioxidants.

    2 years ago

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy says:

    i never got the grapple. though i like grape tomatoes, they're similar in sweetness to the cherry tomato 1000 - not spliced, but i can't say whether they were muted or simply hybridized with another type of tomato. there are serious considerations when looking at genetically modified food (great ape and cauliflower - completely unrelated plants) especially in regards to potential allergies and the potential damage to native or more naturally derived hybrids (cherry and almond - related plants) or mutations (natural mutation within the plant type itself).

    2 years ago

  • PariDesign

    PariDesign says:

    So interesting. I love sour apples and water melon with seeds! I hope they won't be gone forever one day.

    2 years ago

  • VeraVague

    VeraVague says:

    tampering with nature scares me.

    2 years ago

  • jackandjillwedding

    jackandjillwedding says:

    So cool. I'd like a stranana (strawberry banana) please. It will go great with smoothies.

    2 years ago

  • UltimateOrganicSoap

    UltimateOrganicSoap says: Featured

    I am so hesitant to the creation of new, natural foods when there are thousands and thousands of viable vegitable and plant seeds that are no longer used and only exist in seed banks, waiting for some climatic/political/economical catastrophy to bring them into use again. It's frightening to think that hundreds of apple species have disappeared in the last 50-100 years, as well as pears, beans, corn.... really almost any type of vegetable. I am truly concerned about nutrition in-take for our future generations as more and more of the food given to us by Nature/God/The Universe vanishes. It makes me very happy that such produce cannot be legally sold in my country.

    2 years ago

  • silversamba

    silversamba says:

    I, too, miss watermelon with seeds PariDesign! alana

    2 years ago

  • AliKan

    AliKan says:

    We love the opportunity to taste all these wonderful fruits but here in the U.K it isn't very popular against the traditional fruits meaning they are not sold in many places.

    2 years ago

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection says:

    I grew up on 100 acre farm in Zanesville Ohio, we had orchards, gardens with all the veggies, we canned, made jelly etc... I'm 50 now and the fruit in grocery stores does not taste the same. Yes, things have really changed.

    2 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage says:

    i love this article. almost all produce that we currently eat is a hybrid. even potatoes have evolved. this is nothing new but is always interesting :)

    2 years ago

  • AliceCloset

    AliceCloset says:

    Hybrid fruits are interesting, but "Normal" fruits are better!

    2 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    Franken-fruit! Aaaah!

    2 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Yes interesting ! When i was a child always i had fresh and delicious fruit from trees . I know lots of things changed but really i m missing that time .

    2 years ago

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair says:

    I grew cucumbers this year and one kind had rather large round cucumbers. A few weeks ago I cut one open and it was a cantaloupe inside....orange color and all! It smelled just like a cantaloupe!

    2 years ago

  • katlantis

    katlantis says:

    As a girl who loves her pluots in the summer, I'm all for this hybridization of fruit! As long as it's done naturally with methods like Zaiger's, doesn't it seem like a great way to take advantage of the gifts mother nature offers?

    2 years ago

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns says:

    Interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • followingfireflies

    followingfireflies says:

    i disagree with the last sentence in the article =(

    2 years ago

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord says:

    Another vote for watermelon with seeds!

    2 years ago

  • CherieMay

    CherieMay says:

    Fascinating article. And awesome cover photo.

    2 years ago

  • NorthwestBridal

    NorthwestBridal says:

    I much prefer to not put anything in my body that has been altered by man from it's natural state. We just shouldn't mess with nature. Nature works in perfect harmony until humans decide they need to make things 'better' and end up destroying things.

    2 years ago

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite says:

    The idea is interesting and I'm all for it if the outcome is deliciousness. Scientists have been altering vegetables for years, why not fruit? I mean, isn't that why we have wonderful seedless grapes and watermelon?

    2 years ago

  • rachiegirl2

    rachiegirl2 says:

    grapples not really a hybrid fruit. They are just Fuji apples soaked in grape concentrate.

    2 years ago

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios says:

    What the heck is a grapple - grape and apple hybrid?? I love grapes and apples, however, both need to be crisp. I can only begin to imagine the flavor and texture of them combined. I'm willing to try anything once. Twice if I like it. Three times if it's good! ;) ...come to think of it shallots are hybrid too, aren't they?

    2 years ago

  • StarShineVintage

    StarShineVintage says:

    Can my regular delicious apple be Hybrid to run faster, jump higher, outsmart, and last longer than any other apple out there? Flowers are Hybrid to develope unique shapes, deeper color, and color combinations...but I have noticed that many of these Hybrid flowers have no fragrance, such as Hybrid Lilacs. Lilacs are one of most favorite smells in the world, yet the deep purple Hybrid ones have no smell at all. Maybe it is the same with fruits, they loose their essence. Mother Nature Does it best Watermelons with seeds are the best:)

    2 years ago

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane says:

    According to the video on the Grapple link, Grapples are just apples infused with grape flavor after they are picked, therefore not a hybrid fruit. I wouldn't mind trying them although I'm not sure if I'd like the mix.

    2 years ago

  • ballandchain

    ballandchain says:

    Frankenfruit!

    2 years ago

  • ballandchain

    ballandchain says:

    seriously though, why aren't they crossing strawberries with chocolate?

    2 years ago

  • iktomi

    iktomi says:

    I love pluots! I agree with the above poster that if no genetic engineering is done, and it's all just a brush and pollen, then I'm ok with it. I do think it's because of the food industry and it's blanding of the fruit available in our stores, that we have the appearance of these hybrid fruits at all. If the original still tasted good, we wouldn't need a tasty hybrid.

    2 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    I too think Grapples are just a step too far! it's funny how much 'new' fruit you see in shops I'm sure there's plenty out there yet to be discovered...

    2 years ago

  • fortheloveofzebra

    fortheloveofzebra says:

    Interesting article! Made me visit Wikipedia to learn more!

    2 years ago

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections says:

    This is very fascinating, I never knew it takes so many trial and errors to cross pollinate and produce a new type of fruit that can be successfully harvested, this definitely give me a whole new appreciation of the ubiquitous dinosaur fruit!

    2 years ago

  • mylenefoster

    mylenefoster says:

    I hope it looks good as it looks. Some of the fruit coming out nowadays are so lacking in flavor though they look good on the shelves. It's such a letdown.

    2 years ago

  • ladonnae

    ladonnae says:

    i agree - i DO NOT like the last sentence either - weird - no wonder so many people are sick now - go figure. Improved??? Sigh

    2 years ago

  • Winstonthefrenchie

    Winstonthefrenchie says: Featured

    I happen to be a horticulturist and couldn't disagree more with last statement that we need to improve on mother nature. Fruits and vegetables non-hybridized, not covered with insecticides, fungisides etc. are always better for you than their counterpart. Many, not all growers are making new fruits and vegetables not for their taste but for how well that they travel in 18 wheelers packed for weeks at time so that they get to you in perfect shape. There are seeds out there that are not hybridized that can still be grown. Best place to buy your produce is local and for it to be organic. My son will not eat brocc. or cauliflower unless it came from our garden. He will not eat eggs from the store either, only the ones from our hens. Like the seedless watermelon, I have yet to find one that tastes as sweet as a seeded one.

    2 years ago

  • AriaCouture

    AriaCouture says:

    I agree with UltimateOrganicSoap. There are more fruits and veggies than any one person on this planet could ever sample. This makes me hesitant to embrace any new hybrids. Also Grapples are apples sprayed with a grape scent. Red the small print on the container. It's not a hybrid of a fruit. “There’s always things that Mother Nature is doing that needs to be improved upon.” That is disturbing. Our meddling with nature has resulted in people not getting sicker and super-bugs and super-bacteria. We need to stop messing with nature. e need to stop genetically modifying eveything. GMOs are so common in our food supply that the FDA has decided we don't need to be told so on packaging. Companies like Monsanto are raking in the green, and what benefit do the rest of us receive? Sicker and fatter, so much that we not accept obesity and ill health as normal and make arguments that being obese and ill is just as healthy as anyone else. Sad that we have to lie to ourselves.

    2 years ago

  • smallfly

    smallfly says:

    There is a difference between genetically engineered hybrids and hybrids that are simply cross pollinated. While genetic engineering forces changes that often cause problems, cross pollination has been used by farmers for thousands of years. Plants that are similar in species can cross pollinate on their own in nature. The method described here (with the brush) is just a way of making the specific desired combination, much like breeding two different types of dog together in order to achieve desired traits. So while genetically altered food often is a problem, some hybrids can be quite natural and delicious.

    2 years ago

  • SockMonkeysRock

    SockMonkeysRock says:

    that pic is SO cool!! ;)

    2 years ago

  • squibbles76

    squibbles76 says:

    I love the grapple! You have to take the first bite with your eyes open. Then close your eyes....it so confuses the brain. lol. I loved that experience, but the costs of multiple experiences would get expensive. I would love a plum cherry, but really all you have to do is eat a prickly pear fruit to get that combination. ;)

    2 years ago

  • PageantCouture

    PageantCouture says:

    Love love this picture!!! Very creative!

    2 years ago

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos says:

    Very interesting article!! Love this info!!

    2 years ago

  • penyadesignshop2

    penyadesignshop2 says:

    sounds yummy, thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • HyacintheandHazel

    HyacintheandHazel says:

    Grapples aren't even a hybrid fruit...

    2 years ago

  • weezieduzzit

    weezieduzzit says:

    I'm afraid I'd have to avoid a "fruit with so much natural sugar, that a child would forsake candy." While natural sugars are certainly a better choice than processed sugars, they are still to be eaten in moderation. Articles like this make me want to turn even more of the backyard and front yard than I already have into garden beds to grow even more as-nature-intended-them-to-be non-hybrid, open pollinated foods.

    2 years ago

  • PruAtelier

    PruAtelier says: Featured

    In today's world of "frankenfoods' I would would think of hybridization as just that but it is not. Hybridization - cross pollination - has been going on for centuries with roses, etc. and it cannot be compared to the laboratory specimens that have their DNA mixed with completely different species such as mixing plant and fish.....UGH! That being said, hybridization often does not capture the characteristic taste and scent that belongs to the original and results in a tasteless and scentless but sometimes a surprisingly beautiful product!

    2 years ago

  • bunnywithatoolbelt

    bunnywithatoolbelt says: Featured

    I completely underscore smallfly's comment. My family has grown citrus in California for decades and I still remember my grandfather's fascination with hybrids. It was a hobby for him, much like some choose bonsai or flower arranging--they are all ways that humans and nature can interact relatively safely (not saying the plants like being cut and arranged!) I was just reading about pluots and their "inventor." enjoy! http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/12/MNOF1JR7JK.DTL

    2 years ago

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy says:

    I think these are my feelings on the subject: Cross-polination the old-fashioned, labor-intensive way ROCKS! GMO stuff SUCKS! But I think we can all agree: Fresh fruit growing is subject to the whims of Nature, and we are the Guinea Pigs. Bring it on!!! YUMMMM YUM YUM!!!

    2 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Interesting! I'd like strapple. :)

    2 years ago

  • ConfettiWestern

    ConfettiWestern says:

    I don't believe I have eaten a hybrid fruity...but fruits certainly are some of my favorite things

    2 years ago

  • sarlesnatalya

    sarlesnatalya says:

    cool picture

    2 years ago

  • jungledread

    jungledread says:

    Agreed! That franken-fruit sure caught my eye

    2 years ago

  • katrinaalana

    katrinaalana says:

    I guess the more natural hybrid method is ok. The procedure described where they use a brush to remove pollen is ok. I'm not progenetically modified foods though. Not a fan of frankenfood!

    2 years ago

  • laylaoz

    laylaoz says:

    sometimes anybody doing a woman without head...will be the passion of most of men! :)

    2 years ago

  • lulusmuse

    lulusmuse says:

    Europe has it right with outlawing GMO foods. I wish USA would wise up, too. My strawberries don't need to be crossed with cold water fish DNA so they resist frost. There is no way that GMO foods are good for us. Cross-pollination - no problem. Sometimes the more labor-some way is best. Kind of like handmade vs. mast-production. I will pick handmade any day.

    2 years ago

  • allcraftsharing

    allcraftsharing says:

    I'm interested in hybrid fruits.I want to know how it taste.I think it's fine If I eat them a little. BTW I live at Thailand and I never found hybrid fruits available here.

    2 years ago

  • sandboxcastle

    sandboxcastle says:

    You know...the fruit i buy from farmers market are ripe and delicious- I'd take one of them over a candy bar anyday. Unfortunately the farmer's market is once a week...so I think the real problem is that mass produced grocery store fruit does not taste good- NOT that there aren't fruit out there already yummy enough to tempt a kid from candy. That being said... I'd be up for trying a Pluerry some day :)

    2 years ago

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares says:

    I hate to discourage anyone from experimenting with science, so more power to the Floyd, but I do have to say that I don't like it when ppl start genetically modifying foods for human or animal consumption. I am sure it will have an affect on the human body down the road, and I don't want to be the guinea.

    2 years ago

  • Fashionitsa

    Fashionitsa says:

    I'm skeptical. Haven't we messed enough with nature?

    2 years ago

  • Pillowation

    Pillowation says:

    Grapples are not a hybrid of apples and grape, they are just Washingron Extra Fancy Apples flawoured with grape (grape concentrate and water). But if we talking about hybrids, I'm not sure they are safe, except hybrids of close species.

    2 years ago

  • MossMountain

    MossMountain says:

    As long as it is in the same fruit family, cross breeding fruit is natural ... It's the same as one breed of dog breeding with another. It happens in nature already, so why shouldn't farmers experiment?

    2 years ago

  • Blinkett

    Blinkett says:

    I think a lot of our produce in the stores taste horrible nowadays because they are not fresh and are shipped green from remote locations. Fresh fruit at the farmers market or picked yourself still taste wonderful. As for hybridization most of our fruit is from naturally selected hybrids over many generations. I don't mind new varieties of fruit as long as they are fresh and taste good not like the broccoflower (yuck).

    2 years ago

  • sarahdormio

    sarahdormio says:

    Something that we need to remember is that the food industry docent care about anty oxidents and more vitamins all they care about is money. So why do we need make hybrid food? Cant we let nature be nature?

    2 years ago

  • BonChatBoutique

    BonChatBoutique says:

    Please let the mangoes of yesteryear stay the mango I grew up loving...

    2 years ago

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl says:

    Now if they could somehow cross a cherry tree with cocoa bean bush and make it super sweet so it tastes like chocolate covered cherries....I might actually want to try that ;-)....otherwise, I really like fruit the way nature intended. But that's just me!

    2 years ago

  • evilfishdesign

    evilfishdesign says:

    Ugh, One of my favorite things is to get a fruit with seeds and plant it to get another small tree or something to throw in my shop/home. Now you're lucky if you can find something that isn't seedless just because farmers don't want other people to have the ability they do. I'll stick with natural farmers-market fruits/veggies. And Imperfection is perfection... Nature is beautiful as it. Let's not muck it up more :(

    2 years ago

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    OnlyOriginalsByAJ says:

    I live in STL, which is the headquarters for Monsanto. I'm a big supporter of the work that Monsanto does, so it always amazes me how many people protest outside of the main enterance. I just don't understand. Monsanto is working so hard to create new hybrid foods and increase food supplies to stop world hunger...what's so bad about that? Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad to see so many other people supporting hybrid foods :)

    2 years ago

  • CassiasGarden

    CassiasGarden says:

    Very very interesting. Love these kinds of articles! Thank you!

    2 years ago

  • hoganfe

    hoganfe says:

    I steer clear of frankenfoods.

    2 years ago

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree says:

    I agree with you.....where do you draw the line! Just a bit weird, but interesting - give them some time and that they will eventually appear to have been around forever, then where does our debate start? :)

    2 years ago

  • ALookOfLove

    ALookOfLove says:

    tasteless and scentless, YES!!! I completely agree!! And I also agree with Winston.... I, too, couldn't disagree more with the last statement, “There’s always things that Mother Nature is doing that needs to be improved upon.” I think Mother Nature pretty much has "organic" under control!! I just want to taste a tomato again :( Not the kind that's been engineered to survive an 18 hour (or longer!) truck ride, and not one that's "bigger, better, redder!" Just a tomato please. Yes, that little one with the spot on it. Thank you. ~Mary

    2 years ago

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies says:

    I just don't trust it!

    2 years ago

  • dreamcrane

    dreamcrane says:

    Very interesting. Love this articles!

    2 years ago

  • Thewomblequeen

    Thewomblequeen says:

    Very interesting article..As a I've been raised in an old farm, we learned that there is different seasons and a time for everything. There was no strawberries in march nor peaches for christmas and our grapes had seeds. But with supermarkets and fast food, people have forgotten about nature and want anything at anytime, we can find fairtrade bananas in plastic wrapping, which have traveled thousands of miles, best before on potatoes and frozen peeled papayas. The problem with fruit engineering and modified organism, is that they are created by ourselves and our ever growing consumerism. People need to get in touch with nature to realize, sooner than later.Thanks Raphaela

    2 years ago

  • KissedByCows

    KissedByCows says:

    The issue with bioengineered food (otherwise known as GMOs) is forcing DNA from different organisms that would never happen in nature. You will never see a fish and a flower mate and produce offspring. The potential for allergies is great. No long-term studies have been done by the FDA or USDA, and those government entities say that they won't do long-term studies because the companies, such as Monsanto, among others, claim that long-term studies don't need to be done. Since when do companies tell the government whether their product is safe? Another issue is that the genetic diversity has been destroyed. For each strain that the company sells, all those plants are clones of each other. The fact that they cannot control the spread of the bioengineered DNA to other plants is another issue. One of my personal issues with GMO DNA is that in order to force their signature DNA into the existing DNA, the DNA of bacteria is also used. The yield difference between traditional seed and the bioengineered seed is only 10%. GMOs will not stop world hunger, people actively going out to these communities, building clean-water sources, and teaching sustainable agriculture. If you yourself cannot or are unwilling to go, then donate to non-profits that do go. One last word, the biggest thing going to GMOs is that you can spray your pesticides (that, coincidently, you bought from the same company you bought your seed from) and sit back; you don't need to pull weeds or use other measures for pest management.

    2 years ago

  • KissedByCows

    KissedByCows says:

    I just wanted to add that I'm not against hybrid plants. Most fruits and vegetables we eat are hybrids; many of our favorite apples come from cross-pollinating two different types of apple. My issue lies in messing with DNA in a laboratory.

    2 years ago

  • JensMetals

    JensMetals says:

    My grandfather was a professional plant breeder. He created many well known and delicious varieties of tomato, squash, cucumber, etc. All of his varieties were created through cross pollination, something that has been occurring naturally as long as pollen producing plants have existed. My Grandfather abhorred the idea of GMOs, he thought the plants DNA should be left alone. Cross pollination is a proven, effective, and safe way of creating new varieties of plants. Even the heirloom tomato varieties were created that way back in the day. If cross pollination didn't exist, we might not have tomatoes at all.

    2 years ago

  • CottonSeason

    CottonSeason says:

    what is wrong with oranges, apples, plums etc? what is it that makes you want to mess with the perfect fruits that mother nature has already created for us? its not like there isnt enough varieties and tastes out there to keep us satisfied! and in my opinion you will never create a fruit that will make a child who is used to eating lots of sweets choose the fruit over the sweets because that is what they are used to and that is a parenting problem not a fruit problem. There are plenty of children out there now who love to eat fresh fruit apples etc and they dont need hybrid fruits.

    2 years ago

  • closetvintage

    closetvintage says:

    OnlyOriginalsbyAJ - how can you possibly say you support Monsanto?? You need to get more info - they are pretty much raping the planet and screwing over the farmers every day... and making us sick for a profit to boot. O my, didn't mean to jump on a soap box, but i get upset about food and nature and the wrird link to Big Pharma. Yes, i agree cross pollination is one thing, and GMO another. Great photo, interesting article, and even more interesting posts. Peace and love to all..

    2 years ago

  • Exaltation

    Exaltation says:

    Also hybrid fruit sugars interact with the body differently than non-hybrid fruit sugars. Hybrid tends to spike ones blood sugar, leading to a little crash later, much the same way that refined sugar does, but to a lesser extent. People who are diabetic or hypoglycemic, just be aware! :) A good rule of thumb to know if you're eating something hybrid (besides having a funky name like pluot or grapple) is whether the fruit has viable seeds. For example, pineapples and bananas have had their seeds bred and hybridized out of them. Same with some varieties of watermelon. Best to eat fruit that you could plant and watch grow, if you wanted.

    2 years ago

  • SweetiePieCollars

    SweetiePieCollars says:

    I used to work during the Produce Marketing Association's big tradeshow every year, and they always had a special exhibitor who produced, about, 50 different hybrid fruits! It was so much fun to look at! But I never got to eat them. :-(

    2 years ago

  • SweetiePieCollars

    SweetiePieCollars says:

    And ps. Monsanto is a monster.

    2 years ago

  • reflectionsjewelry

    reflectionsjewelry says:

    Hmmm...interesting and controversial....but I'd still like to try a pluerry!

    2 years ago

  • MonkeyBusinessBeadin

    MonkeyBusinessBeadin says:

    @ everyone who thinks that the food they eat is "natural". It's not. Just as one example, corn was originally a grain, and was nothing even close to the corn we consider "natural" today. The same thing goes for nearly any fresh item you purchase in grocery stores. They have all been modified by man in one way or another. We, as humans, mold things around us so that they will conform to what we need. It's not necessarily a bad thing! We need to open our minds to items that are being manipulated in a natural way, and be more wary of things being altered in a genetic way.

    2 years ago