The term hybrid has grown popular when it comes to food production. Scientists and experts are pushing for these foods since they offer better yields for the farmers. That’s why you find most of the vegetables and fruits in your local store are likely to be hybrid. But what are hybrid foods, and are they good or not?
In this guide, we are going to dig deeper into this topic and address most of the fears that people have over hybrid foods. We are going demystify myths about hybrids and show you why you shouldn’t get scared. But we will start with understanding what hybrid foods are.
What are Hybrid Fruits and Vegetables?
If you ask random people on the street what hybrid fruits and vegetables are, you will be surprised by the kind answers you will get. You will come across people who believe that hybrid foods are the same as GMOs, which is not true. It is because of such reasons that most people fear buying fruits and vegetable labelled ‘hybrid.’ Contrary to popular belief, hybrid fruits and vegetables are naturally made. Although they may be referred to as man made vegetables and fruits, the process of hybridisation is 100% natural.
Hybridisation simply happens when two closely related plants are cross-pollinated. So, hybrid foods are a result of cross-pollination and nothing else. A good example is cross-pollinating two different species of oranges. The produced orange will be different from the two original plants. In most cases, the produced hybrid orange will be larger, sweeter, and probably seedless.
Although the process of hybridisation could be man-made by the use of pollinators, it happens all the time in our farms. For example, bees are some of the most active natural pollinators that collect pollen from one plant to the other in such of nectar. That’s how cross-pollination occurs naturally.
So Are Hybrid Foods Bad?
The safety of hybrid fruits and vegetables is guaranteed. So, you can buy and eat these foods without any fear of harmful side effects on your health. The idea that hybrid fruits and vegetables are not good for your health is just a myth. The combination of different genetic materials from different plants have been happening on the planet for thousands of years. In fact, we cannot stop hybridisation as longs as there are natural pollinators such as bees, birds, wind, and even humans.
If anyone tells that they are not selling hybrid fruits and vegetables, they are lying to you. That’s because scientists and experts believe that everything on the planet, including us humans, are hybrids. Natural cross-pollination has been happening for years, and it’s not going to stop. Therefore, there is no plant on the planet today that is not a hybrid.
The bottom line is that hybrid fruits and vegetables are good for your health. In fact, experts believe that hybrids are more nutritious than the originals. Therefore, you are likely to get a higher concentration of nutrients if you choose to go hybrid.
Difference Between Hybrids And GMO
One of the biggest myths surrounding hybrids is the association with the GMO. Most people confuse hybrid foods with GMOs, which is wrong. There is a huge difference between the two. In fact, they are not even close in any way. The biggest difference between hybrids and GMOs is the process. For hybrid fruits and vegetables, the process happens naturally. Whether it is sped up by the farmer, they act as a mere agent in pollination. So, the whole process of hybridisation is 100% natural.
On the other hand, GMO (genetically modified organisms) are created in the lab by combining the DNA molecules from multiple species. Some of the foods’ genetic makeup may be embedded with pesticide DNA molecules to make them pest resistant. Therefore, GMO involves the alteration of the genetic makeup of the plant to achieve desired results. Some of the added DNAs could cause severe side effects, and that’s why GMO food is deemed unsafe for human consumption.
Advantages of Hybrid Fruits and Vegetables
Hybrid Food Production Is Safe
One of the biggest benefits of hybrid fruits and vegetables is safe production. The process of hybridisation artificial because there are no chemicals involved. In addition, there are no foreign DNA introduced into the crop’s genetic makeup. This is how the safety of the food is guaranteed. That’s not the same with GMOs, which uses chemicals and could introduce even animal genes. The process is also safe for the farmers who specialise in producing these crops.
Loaded with More Nutrients
Studies have shown that hybrid fruits and vegetables are loaded more nutrients than the original plant. Scientists and experts who do hybridisation look at improving the quality of the fruits and vegetables. A good example is hybrid oranges. They have a higher concentration of vitamin C compared to the original oranges. Therefore, if you are looking for healthier fruits and vegetables, then you need to consider hybrids.
Another benefit of hybrid fruits and vegetables is fast growth. Unlike the original fruits, hybrids plants take a shorter period to mature. Therefore, you can expect to get a sufficient supply of fruits and vegetables year-round and at a relatively lower price.
Longer Shelf Life
If you are looking to buy fruits and vegetables that can last for a longer time, then you need to consider hybrids. For those planning to stock up, you need to buy hybrids because they offer a longer shelf life. Therefore, you can expect them to last longer without going bad.
In conclusion, hybrid fruits and vegetables are not a threat to your health. In fact, they will make you healthier because of their higher concentration of nutrients. It is also important to note that hybrid foods are not GMOs. So, they could be said to man made vegetables and fruits, but they are actually 100% natural.