Luv learning new things - in fact I try to learn at least one new thing everyday - but this came as a real surprise to me!
I did not know that...
Broccoli is manmade. It was bred out of the wild cabbage plant, Brassica oleracea. It was cultivated to have a specific taste and flavour that was more palatable to people. Cauliflower and brussels sprouts are manmade too.
Well, does that mean it's a GMO? Apparently, no.
Broccoli was created through selective breeding. By controlling the environment, and taking buds from the wild cabbage, broccoli can be forced to reproduce. In the course of reproduction, the less desirable products are then thrown away and the broccoli with desirable traits is forced to reproduce again. After a lot of cross-breeding, one is left with the perfect form of broccoli.
"Selective breeding or "cultivation" is not the same as GMO. GMO requires a highly trained group of genetic engineers, a laboratory and lots of expensive equipment. They go into the plant at the cellular level and make the desired changes. This process is very intrusive and has a profound effect on the overall identity of a plant.
Selective breeding however, is a lot less complicated, but it takes way longer to see notable changes in the plants physiology. Selective cultivation entails throwing out the less desirable plants, and only reproducing from the plants that possess the traits you are looking to keep.
In the case of the broccoli plant, that is exactly how it was done. Wild cabbage farmers would systematically discard the cabbage plant's less desirable flower buds, and keep the tastier, larger, faster growing ones. Then they would use these buds to breed with. Over much time and pickiness - the modern day broccoli plant eventually resulted."
Adding to the list of man-made vegetables are cabbage and kale as well. Quite a surprise to me. Actually the list is quite long of man-made vegetables and fruits. Here are just a few more: watermelons, bananas, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, oranges, almonds, peanuts, strawberries and so many more. To see what some of these fruits and veggies looked like before selective breeding compared to how they look now can be found at: