"Mutant peanuts, it turned out, tasted quite like any other peanut."

Atomic food

#Food

Wed, Jun 17th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Atlas Obscura has this fascinating piece on how radiation is used to create mutant fruits and vegetables in order to get a more desirable strain. Reportedly, much of the food we consume today is thanks in part to a mutation achieved in the past.

Since the 1950s and 60s, mutation breeding has created around 3,000 commercially available varieties of plant—durum wheat, rice, soybeans, barley, chickpeas, white beans, peaches, bananas, papayas, tomatoes, sunflowers, and more. Almost any grapefruit you've bought was probably a mutant: if it's labeled Star Ruby, Rio Red or Rio Star, it's one of the 75 percent of Texas grapefruits that has a mutant strain in its past. And while improving crops by flooding them with radiation might seem like a relic of the atomic age, it's still very much thriving today—even (and especially) as genetically modified food has been shunned.

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