At O2Living, we talk about fruit a lot. It is fruit that goes into our juices (along with some veggies), and it’s fruit that delivers the many benefits of cold pressed juice.
But where does all this fruit come from? How does it grow? What kind of climate does each species like? Let’s take fun dive on a few key types of fruit to learn something new.
A staple in American households, the apple is synonymous with the general term “fruit”. It’s everywhere in pop culture: one a day apparently keeps the doctor away, we bob for them at state fairs, and we smother them in caramel at farmer’s markets.
But they aren’t originally from the orchards of upstate New York. In 1929 a Russian scientist named Nikolai Vavilov traced the apple genome back to a wild apple in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan. These apples, like ours today, grew on trees but instead of in carefully cultivated orchards they were found in vast mountaintop apple forests stretching for miles. Most apples found here probably didn’t taste too good– it wasn’t until later, with careful gene selection by groups like the Romans, that apples like these became palatable.
Another huge player in the fruit world, bananas are the single most grown fruit on Earth by metric tons. They grow only in hot, tropical climates– it is no wonder that they originated in the dense jungles of the
Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia. Though they grow in what are called “Banana Trees”, these plants aren’t actually trees at all. They’re more like a giant herb, closer related to lilies and orchids than a mighty oak. This doesn’t mean they don’t have size, however, as a banana tree can reach 40 feet in just nine short months.
It’s hard to overstate the impact of bananas on human life. Over 500 million people worldwide depend on banana cultivation in some way for their livelihood, and even more probably consume it. High in potassium and other nutrients, it’s no wonder why.
A main player in our delicious Carrot Kick, oranges are another fruit powerhouse. Delicious and refreshing, they’re grown in subtropical and tropical climates. You can see Valencia oranges growing on the arid streets of Spain or large oranges growing in the tropics of brazil. Globally, they account for 70% of the world’s citrus fruit production. In fact, since 1987, oranges are the most cultivated fruit tree globally.
Originating from ancient southeast Asia, some form of the orange that we know today has been cultivated for thousands of years. North America didn’t use to have orange trees until the Spanish dragged some seeds aboard their galleons in the 1500s, where they would plant the first orange trees in St. Augustine. 300 years later, opportunistic salesmen in Los Angeles would be planting and selling oranges to hungry gold miners. With that, the orange had taken over.