Fruit Growers Are Modifying Their Products So Much That They’ve Become Dangerous to Zoo Animals

Farmers are breeding fruits to taste sweeter, with many sweeter than candy. In fact, Melbourne Zoo has been forced to stop giving their animals fruit because it was causing tooth decay. The monkeys at the zoo were weaned off of bananas and onto a lower-sugar vegetable-based diet in a bid to help them lose weight. Research in 2010 showed that the sugar content of many fruits is higher than ever because of “continuous selection and breeding.” Most modern apple varieties are sweeter than wild apples, with bitterness and sourness being bred out of them. Global warming has been partially blamed for spiking levels of sugar, with research showing that apples become sweeter and softer in rising temperatures. Peaches are also being targeted by plant breeders to increase higher-sugar peach varieties, and strawberries are being grown to have a wider variety of flavors, including one created to taste like pink Starburst.