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The word hybrid in vegetables or foods makes most of us think of something man-made and artificial, at least to a certain extent. Most super markets are flooded with a variety of hybrid vegetables and fruits. Hybrid vegetables are produced by cross-pollinating two breeds of vegetables or fruits. It is mating two different or same species, with the same genus. Hence, it's simple. So what puts people in doubt while buying these vegetables? Well, what seems to be overly described as unnatural and hybrid has actually been the natural way that plants pollinated since a long time. It is believed that all plants go through random hybridization, since ages, natural hybridization by cross-pollination of plants is taking place. This is achieved by the act of the wind, bees, and birds who carry pollen with them. We know of this as open pollination. The only difference now is that these plants are cross-pollinated with research and study to create the best breed of hybrid vegetables and fruits. They are grown under a much controlled environment and with the consent of man. These vegetables are still produced by pollinating natural plants by natural means. They are a new variety of plants. Experts pollinate the best varieties to grow something even better, healthier and resistant to insects and other external damages.

Are Hybrid Vegetables Healthy?

The answer to this question is a 'yes', they are healthy. But we cannot term them as completely healthy or unhealthy. Just because they are hybrid does not make them any unhealthy or healthier than the naturally grown plants. If you take a practical look at the process of it, the plant still grows in soil, with natural resources like water and sunlight. The only difference is that pollination is 'arranged' here. Alteration in the vegetable is done, to make sure it gives good color, texture, flavor and more. Farmers pick the best traits from two closely similar plant varieties (the parents) and then cross-pollinate them. These give a better quality of vegetables than the parent plants. The seeds of these plants may not necessarily give exactly the same plant, the seeds will continue to vary the produce. So new seeds need to be purchased every year. Hybridization also increases the produce along with the quality of vegetables. So we can say that these vegetables are just vegetables after all. The only reason that they are pollinated by hand deliberately cannot make them unhealthy. Hybrids, in some cases can have better nutrition if we consider optimum utilization of soil and sun and nutrients they are grown in. So a better variety of vegetable may have a good texture and life along with having the same nutritional value. These were some of the positive aspects, that support the concept of hybrid vegetables.

Even if hybrids are modified and made from pollinating the best breeds, there is no guarantee that the new plant will possess major nutrition. It may or may not lean against the benefits of the parent plant. More over, even if they are developed in a controlled environment, they can absorb pesticides and other compounds meant to improve the plant's resistance to insects and other dangers. They can also absorb harmful and toxic substances from the surroundings. Many also believe that these vegetables are over hybridized.

It is concluded that there is enough evidence that hybrid vegetables are as healthy as the heirloom, or open pollinated vegetables. We cannot term either of them above and superior. Organic or heirloom vegetables too can absorb toxins, so just because they are grown naturally does not make them purer than hybrids.

Some people strongly oppose while some do believe that hybrids are better. We say it is a personal decision. Moreover with time and research, we can expect a strong base to evaluate or rate on how healthy are hybrid vegetables.