Hybrid, local and transgenic fruits and vegetables
Right now, there must be many hybrid foods in your kitchen and refrigerator. Probably the most common among them are bananas, cauliflower and broccoli.
The joining of two similar species that produces something new is called hybridization. This property is present in all creatures, from humans and animals to plants, vegetables and fruits. There are many discussions about the positive and negative points of local seeds, hybrids
(grafting) and their difference with genetic manipulations (GMO transgenic products); which we will discuss in this articl
?What is hybridization
When plant breeders cross-pollinate two different species of plant, a hybrid plant is obtained. Hybrid plants can grow naturally, but most of them are cultivated by farmers. In this way, the properties of two plants can be integrated into one plant.
Farmers use the pollen of one type of plant to fertilize a similar plant of another type, and the result is a graft. For example, there are different types of mangoes, some are sweeter, some have smaller cores, some have thinner skin, some have different colors, etc. It is interesting to
know that India is the largest producer of mangoes with more than 12 varieties.
Grafting is done in agriculture, horticulture and even animal husbandry. The goal of grafting is to achieve a better version full of nutrients that has the best traits of both species. Even humans are hybrids; When people with different blood groups and genes combine and have a child, it can be said that the child born is a hybrid!
?But how safe is grafting? Does the hybridization of fruits and vegetables have a negative side
:Unlike GM crops, hybrid food production is safe
The hybridization process is artificial but completely natural and safe. There are no chemicals in the hybrid farming process. This action can happen even in nature by accidentally putting together two similar species. The only difference in doing this process by humans is that his selected species are exposed to this.
The seeds that are sold as local seeds (heirloom) were also created generations ago by grafting two or more different species. But the difference between a hybrid seed and a local seed is that a local plant has been naturally pollinated (by insects, birds, wind, etc.) for at least 50 generations after being combined with another plant, it has multiplied and The seeds have reached a relative stability. But hybrid seeds pass only one generation after their combination with another species, and their next generation may be slightly different from the previous generation.
But the genetic modification of transgenic products has been done completely artificially. For example, a part of the tomato’s gene may have been replaced by a completely different organism such as a fish or a virus. This practice has many important points that we discuss in the GM products blog.
:Hybrid foods are rich in nutrients
The purpose of producing hybrid fruits and vegetables is primarily to improve the quality and quantity of vital elements. This makes food healthier and tastier. Fruits and vegetables will be produced in more variety and will be more colorful and full of minerals.
:Hybrid fruits are generally seedless, but transgenic and local crops are not
A seedless crop means that if you plan to grow the same crop again, you cannot use the same seed for the next season. Because there is no guarantee that the plants of the next generation will necessarily have all the characteristics of the plants of their previous generation. As it is not possible to determine in advance which of your child’s characteristics will lean towards his mother’s or father’s family.
But in the case of genetically modified products, there is no such risk. Because changes have been made at the genetic level of the seed, and these characteristics will be passed on from generation to generation (if the gene of the product is not sterile).
Local products have also reached relative stability due to successive pollinations, and their next generations will be uniform and predictable.
?And what are the disadvantages of hybrid fruits and vegetables
Although hybrid foods are a healthy and safe option, there are reasons why many people choose not to use them. The most important and debatable disadvantages of hybrid fruits and vegetables that should be considered are as follows.
:The hybrid plant may be vulnerable
The produced hybrid product may in some cases have little resistance to diseases, pollution and other natural factors such as fungus or infection. Because this product has not yet evolved based on natural selection in nature and may need more care during cultivation.
If a hybrid plant occurs in nature, it will be able to reproduce only if it can survive the threats! This is the reason why hybrid fruits do not bear fruit easily in nature and limited cases will adapt to the environment over generations and become local seeds of that area.
Transgenic products are also generally highly resistant and even in some cases it is necessary to use special chemical fertilizers and poisons, which will eventually result in non-organic products.
:It is expensive for both the manufacturer and the buyer
Hybrid seeds are expensive for the farmer and this situation ultimately increases the price of the product for the buyer. Crop producers have to pay a lot of money to grow such fruits and vegetables. Finally, the costs incurred for cultivation and maintenance until the stage of ripening and harvesting are covered by a higher price than the normal product.