3

votes

Modern Fruit vs Ancestral Fruit.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 18, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Looking for evidence/resources to the makeup, sugar, starch, fructose, glucose of Fruit over time.

Specifically the generic fruit we eat today, what the ancestral versions were like, how we've "selected" the sweeter fruits and replanted, cross polinated and otherwise "bred" fruit into what we know today.

Also, id like to know what fruits may be unbastardized, such as wild berries etc.

E4ba34574a801931a8fc2913a12bf6f0

(0)

on July 19, 2011
at 10:11 AM

Yeah, in all likelihood totally different to modern fruit though...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 18, 2011
at 05:38 PM

tree-ripened fruit was a staple in Wisconsin, but now that I live in extreme southern Nevada the only tree-ripened fruit that is of top quality is citrus.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:33 PM

Eat tree ripened fruit, it's still like that. It's the truck/chemically ripened ones that suck.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 17, 2011
at 05:19 PM

If you take 10 seeds from the sweetest apples you find and plant them you will get 10 different types of apples and none will be like the original. To get a new variety of apple, an orchard is planted, if anything turns out good, it is cloned with cuttings. The apples haven't been modified, what's changed is the varieties that are available in stores.

Bbaa0dbe9ab4c4af4728d1102063bec3

(90)

on July 17, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Passion fruit, persimmons and pawpaws grow wild around here, from what I understand the wild ones have never been cross pollinated by man. The flavor of all three fruits vary wildly from tart to sickly sweet depending on the area in which they grew.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on July 17, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Are those like the poison apple in sleeping beauty story?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 19, 2011
at 05:56 AM

It's also important to note that even if paleo ancestors ate lots of fruit in season, the effects of fructose with regards to diseases of old age and obesity would not have been a huge issue for them. So what applies to them does not necessarily apply to us and our 75 year mean ages.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 19, 2011
at 05:55 AM

I've known quite a few dudes who eat very little fructose from a lack of sweet tooth or overhyped manliness, but eat lots of pasta, meat, and chips. They are very fat.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Why this isn't my question, it's a point that needs the counterpoint, that day of lots of berries is a day. And it takes alot of berries to even match a modern apple. There's no doubt that fruit in excess wasn't everyday. But what I'm seeking is the adulteration that we as humans have had on fruit selection and makeup

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Not questioning sweet, but rather which are unadulterated

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:21 PM

But today's apples aren't the same as ancestral, presume the rest are the same.

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7 Answers

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 17, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I'm 64 and much of the "modern adulteration" has supposedly occurred in my lifetime. In my opinion, many of the genetic manipulations have REDUCED the sweetness and juiciness of fruit. When I was a kid, you literally took a shower in juice when eating a plum or peach and apples/pears were much juicier too. Many recent gene adjustments were to make fruit stand up to long distance shipment without damage, not to increase the sugar content. Watermelon was also juicier many years ago. I mean, today's tomatoes are closer to cardboard than the ones I grew up on!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:33 PM

Eat tree ripened fruit, it's still like that. It's the truck/chemically ripened ones that suck.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 18, 2011
at 05:38 PM

tree-ripened fruit was a staple in Wisconsin, but now that I live in extreme southern Nevada the only tree-ripened fruit that is of top quality is citrus.

3
0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

on February 19, 2011
at 01:16 AM

This link looks very interesting:

http://www.naturalhub.com/natural_food_guide_fruit_common.htm

These notes are a look at the fruits that are commercially available that we Westerners eat, but from a hunter-gatherer evolutionary perspective. It is a 'guided tour', not of the diversity of fruits in the natural environment we evolved in, but rather the fruits that are now commercially available to eat, and how it is we came to be eating only these fruits.

Evolution has forced us to become vitamin C junkies - unlike most animals, we can't synthesize it ourselves, we have to obtain it from the food we eat. Fruit and vegetables, and to a lesser extent, organ meats, are the prime source.

Only some of the wild fruits that were all around our ancestors have been domesticated. So the number of species available to us now is less - at first glance. But because commerce provides us with fruit from all the continents of the world, our actual daily possible selection range is probably as good as was available to our ancestors. And the fruits we now have available have much fewer unpleasant tannins and glycosides than some of the wild fruits. The fleshy part is larger, and the seediness in some cases reduced or eliminated.

Also an interesting paper summary here about what fruit traits may be related to domestication:

http://eco.confex.com/eco/2008/techprogram/P10938.HTM

This paper might be useful as well:

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/origins%20of%20fruits.pdf

2
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 18, 2011
at 05:32 PM

I'm pretty sure that quinces haven't been mucked around with, and you can do lots of things with them, and they are full of pectin, which is very good for you, from what I understand. Rhubarb, while technically not a fruit, is also un-mucked around with very easy to grow. Crab-apples and rose hips are also a couple of possibilities, as is staghorn sumac, if you live where it grows. Mountain ash berries and barberries also come to mind, as well as elderberries, or even wild grapes. I don't know if these are the kinds of things you had in mind, though.

1
Medium avatar

on February 18, 2011
at 06:37 PM

While I'm sure that the fructose content was less, we have to admit that when a particular berry, for example, came into season the foragers would have picked as many as they could find and would have had that berry temporarily constitute a much larger portion of their diet. While I don't personally see much value in apples, I think it's misguided to think of them as being "bags of sugar" and thus outside of our design. A forager may not have come across a massive red delicious, but it wouldn't take all that much wild fruit to reach an equivalent fructose content.

There would have been whole days that consisted of only fruit consumption. Or days where they ate a substantial amount of honey. Clearly, those would have been fattening days even for foragers, but they still occurred. I'm going to continue to believe that fructose is the cause of nearly all adiposity and continue to opt out of fructose consumption for the time being personally, but certainly not because it's "unnatural."

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 19, 2011
at 05:55 AM

I've known quite a few dudes who eat very little fructose from a lack of sweet tooth or overhyped manliness, but eat lots of pasta, meat, and chips. They are very fat.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Why this isn't my question, it's a point that needs the counterpoint, that day of lots of berries is a day. And it takes alot of berries to even match a modern apple. There's no doubt that fruit in excess wasn't everyday. But what I'm seeking is the adulteration that we as humans have had on fruit selection and makeup

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 19, 2011
at 05:56 AM

It's also important to note that even if paleo ancestors ate lots of fruit in season, the effects of fructose with regards to diseases of old age and obesity would not have been a huge issue for them. So what applies to them does not necessarily apply to us and our 75 year mean ages.

0
E4ba34574a801931a8fc2913a12bf6f0

(0)

on July 17, 2011
at 06:40 AM

apples in adam and eve garden of eden story...

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on July 17, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Are those like the poison apple in sleeping beauty story?

E4ba34574a801931a8fc2913a12bf6f0

(0)

on July 19, 2011
at 10:11 AM

Yeah, in all likelihood totally different to modern fruit though...

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 18, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Wild berries such as wild strawberries, blackberries, bilberries, wild raspberries can't have changed in centuries - and all are sweet and delicious.

Apples and plums I am sure have changed - the wild apples (crab apples) are practically inedible without cooking, as are wild plums such as sloes and bullaces. However, it is possible that wild plums or apples from other countries / continents may have been much sweeter and therefore palatable (I'm in the UK - perhaps the colder summers here led to wild fruit trees producing sour fruit?)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Not questioning sweet, but rather which are unadulterated

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 17, 2011
at 05:19 PM

If you take 10 seeds from the sweetest apples you find and plant them you will get 10 different types of apples and none will be like the original. To get a new variety of apple, an orchard is planted, if anything turns out good, it is cloned with cuttings. The apples haven't been modified, what's changed is the varieties that are available in stores.

0
9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on February 18, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Pomegranates are mentioned quite a bit in the Old Testament. Cranberries- the Native Americans and pilgrams both used them for (different) medicinal Apples appear in greek and Norse mythology. Cherries in Chinese mythology. Rowanberries in irish and scandinavian lore.
Maybe these are useful lines to research along?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:21 PM

But today's apples aren't the same as ancestral, presume the rest are the same.

Bbaa0dbe9ab4c4af4728d1102063bec3

(90)

on July 17, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Passion fruit, persimmons and pawpaws grow wild around here, from what I understand the wild ones have never been cross pollinated by man. The flavor of all three fruits vary wildly from tart to sickly sweet depending on the area in which they grew.

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