Scientists discovered that plants mate and have offspring quite as animals do. A male plant and a female plant are both needed to produce a seed from which a brand-new plant will grow. This recommended taking one kind of male plant and another kind of female plant and trying to produce brand-new foods that would combine the qualities of 2 other foods. Luther Burbank, an American who made a long-lasting research study of this, developed many brand-new plants. He created brand-new, better-tast- ing fruits by blending the pollens of 2 various plants (a process called cross- pollination) and his developments included such things as the honeydew melon and the grapefruit we see frequently on our table today. The exact same type of work produced string beans without strings (and the majority of people today have actually forgotten the time when string beans had such strong, tough and unpleasant strings in them that you might hardly bite through them), and oranges that provide much more juice than other oranges, an advancement that resulted in the habit of drinking orange juice for breakfast today. Before then, oranges did not have adequate juice to make it beneficial to squeeze them. The science of chemistry was a terrific help to agriculture. Farmers would discover that certain bugs were destroying their plants. The pests would consume the leaves, or bore into the vegetables or fruits, or even attack the roots and keep the plants from growing. There were toxins that would eliminate the bugs, but those very same toxins might kill the plants– or else make the fruit of those plants dangerous to the individuals who consumed them. The issue was to discover chemicals that would kill pests without harming the plant. Chemists have found liquids that you can spray or powders that you can dust on numerous plants that will keep the insects from consuming them however will not keep the plants from growing and will not be dangerous to individuals who consume the vegetables or fruits. Not all the issues have actually been solved, so the work goes on and every year new methods are found to combat the insects and the diseases of our food plants and so to make the crops larger and much healthier.
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