I often get asked about hybridization of fruit and if that is something of real concern.  There seems to be a lot of misinformation out about that particular issue, which is not surprising, because the whole fruit growing arena is so massive and information on it is also sometimes confusing.
    Most fruit trees require pollination from either a separate tree of the same species, or from another flower on the same tree, or at the very least from the male part of the flower to the female part.  Because of this, very few trees produce true to seed.  In other words, if you plant a seed from, say a Red Haven peach tree, you probably won't get the same tree, although it will probably have some characteristics of the parent tree.  
    In nature, hybrids are something that occur naturally and are an ongoing process in which nature provides for, not only the continuation of the species, but hopefully diversity and perhaps even improvement of a particular variety.  This holds true for animals, humans as well as plants.  
    I, myself am a hybrid of my mother and father.  I share some of their characteristics, both physical and non-physical.  In theory, I should have acquired some of the best of both of them.  Fruit trees share pretty much the same existence  Left to their own, in nature, they hybridize readily and continually produce slightly different fruits because of it.  Without hybridization, fruits would have no way to evolve.  
    Take for example the orange.  It started out as a sour fruit.  Through many centuries, it evolved into something completely different.  True, some of this was assisted by man, but much of it was random.  For example, a particular seedling (a hybrid) produces an awesome fruit that eventually gets noticed and ends up being grafted again and again, so that it doesn't just remain a single tree.  Such is the case of the navel orange.  The original tree appeared in Brazil over 100 years ago.  Such is also the case of the Haas avocado, a seedling that almost went unnoticed that happened to produce a bumpy fruit that turned out to become the most popular avocado of all time.
    True, there may be some issues with the ongoing, intense hybridization of foods happening today, but most fruits are not subject to this.  Most fruits today have been consumed for decades.  In an ideal world, living in true harmony with nature, growing all of your own food, you might want to avoid heavily hybrid plants, those that have been bred and cross bred to produce certain qualities, but to true to avoid hybrids altogether would mean starvation for everyone.  It truly is a silly issue to get wrapped up, because all foods are hybrids to some extent.
    I believe, that it would better to focus our direction on the issue of getting good organic fruit, free of chemicals and genetic engineering, and to forget about hybrids altogether.  
    Imagine a world without hybrids.  As humans, we would all be clones, no way to evolve or improve.  Plants would never have a chance to develop and become acclimated to a certain environment.  We should all be thankful for the process of hybridization, which is but one small part in the grand picture of creation and a part of the process of what provides nourishment for our bodies, which are hybrids themselves.
View Shopping Cart  /  Checkout