We shouldn’t use Renaissance watermelons to judge nutritional value


Many crops have changed over the years through cultivation, but that doesn’t mean they have become less nutritious nor is that possible to judge from a picture, writes James Wong


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21 April 2021

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NOW, I realise my lifelong fascination with how the crops that sustain humanity today were domesticated in the ancient past isn’t shared by everyone. So I was excited to see some classic examples of before and after pictures of familiar fruit and veg popping up on my Twitter feed a few years ago. These showed the sometimes stark differences between the supermarket staples that are familiar today with the wild relatives they were originally derived from.

Imagine my surprise when these photographs – normally confined to ethnobotanical textbooks – started to appear on other social media platforms, then …

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