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Any precautions about seedless fruit? Some fruit is getting a little weird.

by 560 · May 13, 2014 at 01:50 AM

It's obviously not natural but it's still fruit and, presumably, has a similar nutrient profile just with the added convenience of not watching out for seeds. Seedless fruit is easier to eat at your desk but is there more to it?

For example, apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. It's not much but I prefer not to dose on the stuff. If the apple's seeds are practically nonexistent (I only recently started discovering a lack of seeds in some apples) does that cyanide wind up in the flesh instead? This might be difficult to answer. Especially disconcerting is that most seedless supermarket fruit is no longer advertised. You get home and discover that apples are now seedless... Oh the modernity!

I've also heard circulating rumor that seedless grapes are supposedly nutrient devoid when compared to the seeded kind. Is this complete BS? It's rare to find grapes with seeds these days.

Some large seedless oranges I recently bought seemed more than a little mutant. The flesh was... different... and there were 'patches' that were more white/yellow than "orange", had a spongy texture, and had very little flavor. What's happening to our fruit?

Personally, I don't like seeds. Besides that though it's getting harder to find seed-bearing fruit in the supermarket. They don't even advertise it any more... Am I really that old or is the world just moving too fast?

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942 · May 09, 2014 at 07:30 PM

A little knowledge of fruits will help you in the right direction. examples from fruits that are my mainstays during certain periods of the year:

- apples. There are a number of varieties that are essentially wild apples. We eat 90% Northern Spy, a wild tree discovered in 1840. These apples have a vitamin C content half that of oranges.

- peaches. Peaches have changed little, to the point where if you plant a pit, you will get good fruit about 90% of the time. My FIL only grows peaches this way (he feeds an army)

- grapes. In terms of phytochemicals, semi-wild types do best, so stop buying seedless, and at least in season buy Concord-type grapes. In my previous backyard, I had numerous concord grapes, planted by birds. They can be invasive, and I would love to grow them now, but my current soil is unsuitable.

If some day you can grow your own, you can buy various types of fruit bags that cover the fruit during growth and essentially remove the need for insecticides. They are heavily used in Japan. I only spray spring fungicides on my own trees, plus a June fungicide for peaches only.

7944 · May 08, 2014 at 10:04 PM

I HATE seedless watermelons, they have no flavor except that they are overly sweet. My impression is that we have hybridized fruit bearing plants (seedless or not) to produce oversweet fruit. While we are playing around with their genomes, we may be causing other problems as we have with wheat. Eating this stuff is making us human guinea pigs--we may not really understand the impact until our grandchildren are trying to start their own families. People who eat a lot of this oversweet fruit may be doing a number on the their pancreases (pancreati?).

Easy for me, since I'm not a big fruit lover, so I eat very limited amounts of fruit. I try to eat heirloom varieties of tomatoes and other fruits instead of the modern wonders when I can. Give me a beefy big old style tomato filled with seeds and juice or an old fashioned, seeded watermelon--the kind you had to sprinkle with a little salt to bring out the sweetness (does anyone here remember doing that????)--and I'd be a happy camper. Plus, I miss the old seed spitting contests I used to have with my cousins, even if I always LOST!

26083 · May 08, 2014 at 06:35 PM

There are two types of seedless fruits -- the ones that have been hybridized and the ones that require pollination.

If a plant requires pollination for the seeds to mature, creating "seedless" (I put in quotations because they still contain seeds, just ones that did not mature) is easy, you simply prevent pollination. And allow pollination for others (the ones that you plan to replant)

For the hybrid varieties, I have no concerns consuming them. My concern is the evolutionary future. These fruits are essentially clones of each other, some banana producers are down to fewer than 12 different offsets. Without genetic diversity, a new fungus could wipe out the fruit altogether.

982 · May 08, 2014 at 05:26 PM

I wouldn't avoid fruit for the lack of seed, but that often goes with conventionally grown / sprayed food that's been bred for higher sugar content. Were these Organic varieties? Grapes, for example, are usually treated with pesticides / growth hormones to make them grow larger and they sit next to apples on the dirty dozen list. I tend to avoid the conventional extra sweet stuff and shop organic heirloom. If it tastes good, spit it out. Just about all the fruit I eat is filled with seeds, as nature intended.

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