How Fruit Seeds Should Be Seen

Many encyclopedias say that the reason fruits are sweet is so that animals would want to eat them and then poop out the seeds. The reasoning behind this is that the offspring is dispersed far away, and that poop is the ideal environment for a seed to develop. Thus, there is a symbiotic relationship between animals and fruits like bees are to pollen. This is one of many “evolutionary advantages” I’ve read that just sound stupid. Why? Firstly, animals don’t even eat fruits in their entirety—animals just eat the sweet flesh. We discard the rind on the outside and the seed/pit at the core. Even my dog (innately) knows not to swallow seeds. Secondly, how can poop be the ideal environment for seeds to develop? Poop is unwanted, innutritious waste.

This may sound stupidly obvious, but my hypothesis is that fruit seeds are like animal embryos. Thus, the fruit of a plant is equivalent to the egg or amniotic sac (and all its contents) of an animal. Good (i.e. evolutionarily advantageous) fruits have an outer cover, such as skin with astringent or bitter taste, a hard shell, a spiky shell, etc. The purpose of this is to protect the plant embryo inside from weather, insects, animals, etc. Yes, we are the plant’s enemy, not its savior. This is akin to hard egg shells, protective pregnant mothers, etc. in the animal kingdom. On the inside of the fruit is sweet and fat (read: nourishing) flesh, like an egg yolk, because it’s meant to feed the seed. There is no symbiotic relationship between animals and fruits.

Everyone knows how to grow their own fruit tree/shrub. Seed + dirt + water + sunlight = growing plant. This is the method that is taught and practiced all around the world, barring grafting. If you think about it, what you’re doing is stripping the seed of its protective shell and nutritious flesh and then planting the seed bare. To me this is like taking a small fetus out of the womb and expecting it to grow. This method has been applied everywhere, forever, which makes me think: have we (irreversibly) ruined the taste of fruits? Is every fruit I eat today more bitter or sour than it used to be, due to generations of neglected baby plants? Can we grow a seed in a vat of nutritious sugar and fat to improve the fruit’s taste? Perhaps the “fetal stages” of a fruit plant are not that important, especially today, since many fruits are now grafted.

Surrogate seedling?

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© Buism 2011