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How Fruit Shaped The World
Fruits are such a staple item now; we see them everywhere. If you wanted to, you could go onto a website, click on a Seasonal Fruit Box, and have it delivered to your office the next-working day. When something is so accessible, it can be easy to overlook the importance and impact it has or has had. Here, we explore some of the effects that fruit has had on the world:
1 – Source of Food and Nutrition
Fruit has been around for as long as we can remember. Originally humans scrounged on whatever they could for survival, but now adays the stakes aren’t so high. Modern technologies have enabled us to dive deeper into fruits and have a lot more accessibility and understanding of them. Fruits provide all kind of health benefits to us due to their vitamin and mineral content.
2 - Fruit and Foods
Fruit has been used in all kinds of cuisines and dishes to help add some extra flavour and colour. Though fruit are just as good on their own; being used as an enhancement can have a big affect. Fruits have made their mark on the dessert industry, being used in all kinds of sweet after-dinner dishes.
3 – Fruits have been used for religious and cultural ceremonies since the ancient times
Fruits have symbolic meanings that go all the way down to Modern Religions and Ancient Cultures. Take the Pomegranate for example. In Judaism, the pomegranate is a symbol of the 613 commandments in the Torah – The Jewish Holy Book. It was a belief that Pomegranates have 613 seeds, one to represent each of the commandments. In Islam, Pomegranates are said to be one of the fruits found in Paradise, and that each seed of the fruit is one that comes down from paradise. But it goes even further back from that – The Ancient Egyptians were great fans of the pomegranate. They were sometimes buried with the dead, to help them journey into the afterlife and to ensure that it was bountiful… Or you could say to make sure it was fruitful. (I’m sorry I couldn’t help it).
4 – Fruits have been used in art and literature for centuries.
Fruits have symbolic meaning to them. For example, the Apple is linked to temptation, and Strawberries with love and seduction. Fruits have been used as metaphors for a while. For example “The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” or “Apple of my eye.” It’s not just literature though – Fruit has been important in art, and was particularly important for Still Life paintings in the 16th century. Take the Still Life with Fruits in Porcelain for example. This beautiful painting was used to show Jacob Van Es’s mastery with lighting. You can see the light upon the semi-transparent grapes, as well as the usage of the shadows to represent what’s the foreground and the background. Art historians can dive deep into these paintings, with one interpretation suggesting that the red fruit represents love and the yellow represents foolishness.
5 – Trade and Commerce
The world-wide fruit industry is huge, with 2023 having a forecast of £252.94billion, with the UK importing 3.3 million metric tonnes in 2021. That’s no small figure! You’ve heard of the quote ‘Money makes the world go round’ but Fruits, more specifically bananas, quite literally made Central America function. The Banana was such an important fruit that it led to exploitation of labour, to environmental degradation, to great political more and an economical grip that stretched across the entirety of Central America. The bright yellow fruit hides a dark history that you can read about in this blog.
And so there you have it! Five ways in wish Fruits have shaped our world in varying degrees! Fruits are becoming more and more popular, especially as society is taking in more meat-free diets and relying more on fruit and plant based diets. Their nutritional value has been important since the dawn of humankind, and will continue to be consumed for years to come