Last updated: July 09. 2014 10:18AM - 77 Views
By Linda Harper, The Honeybee Conservancy

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If you go to a grocery store today to buy grapes, there is a good chance that the only type you can buy is seedless. Nearly all grapevines in production today produce seedless grapes. Seedless grapes actually do contain seeds at some point, but a genetic error prevents the seeds from forming the hard outer shell. But how they reproduce year after year is a complex subject.

Humans have been cultivating seedless bananas for years. Many varieties have already become extinct because of it; in fact one variation known as the “Gros Michael” was superior in flavor and texture but disappeared in the sixties. Have you noticed how delicious a seeded watermelon is compared to the seedless type?

Scientists irradiate seeds to mutate them into producing seedless fruit. They then plant the seeds and cultivate their new seedless species. Scientists can grow seedless orange trees in a lab by planting only the cells of the plant. Seedless orange trees first produced seedless fruit through a genetic mutation. All seedless navel oranges come from one 19th century Brazilian tree. Seedless fruit can only be cultivated from mutations; and they can’t evolve to resist new diseases.

What’s the moral of the story? Naturally created fruit with diverse gene pools survive and flourish, while those with little or no genetic diversity eventually become extinct. The seedless fruit industry, relies solely on consumer demand rather than intelligent advancement. For instance, grape seeds, or the oligomeric proanthocyanidin complex within them have been touted as powerful antioxidants believed to treat a number of health conditions; i.e. cancer, heart disease and aging skin. However if you desire these healthful benefits they are sold at your local health food store, not at the grocery.

Do mutated fruit trees produce mutated nectar of which the honey bee is harvesting? Is this another reason honey bees are disappearing?

Love the seed and refrain from the seedless. Scientifically engineered food is the path to problems of the body scientists still haven’t solved. Now they are irradiating people. Enjoy the wonderful endowments nature has to offer.

The Honeybee Conservancy Is here to help, have a question? Call 614.563.4688. Thanks.

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