What prevents fruits and vegetables from rotting before we cultivate them?



Especially something like potatoes that are in the dirt their whole lives who don’t seem to rot unless plucked.

In: Biology

Because they’re a part of a healthy living plant.

When a fruit or a vegetable is still attached to the plant, it’s still growing, getting nutrients, getting damage repaired, it’s still a living growing healthy thing.

As soon as it falls off/is plucked, it stop getting replenished and cannot fight the rot as well.

It’s the same reason why your finger stays nice and healthy when starched to your body, but if you cut your finger off it won’t last very long before it starts to rot.

This is actually a really common issue.

Many roots do rot in the ground, especially if the soil is too wet.

Often if you take a plant like a cactus, which likes dry conditions, and then overwater it – the roots and plants will rot.

Fruits rot all the time on the plant.

Plants naturally produce compounds that fight germs and fungi. I’ve noticed that more water resistant roots tend to have a stronger flavor – ginger, wasabi, and horseradish have roots that don’t rot easily, these plants can take a lot of water.

Another part of this is climate. I live in a very hot and dry climate – so food usually doesn’t rot her unless it’s extremely moist. Fruit and breads will just tend to dry out instead.

Some plants like tomatos, peppers/capsicum, and eggplants/aubergines for example will rot on the plant if the plant doesn’t have enough calcium – specifically this is known as blossom end rot. Somehow the plant will use calcium to stop rotting.

Plants naturally produce different chemicals – some can be healthy, some can be harmful. Nicotine for example kills insects, some people spray nicotine on plants to kill bugs. Ricin is another good example, this is extremely poisonous to humans, and the Castor plant produces it to protect itself from being eaten.

Zucchini/courgette also produces a chemical called cucurbitacin which is extremely poisonous – only some people can taste this. As a result, if you can taste it, it’s extremely bitter. The zucchini we eat was bred to have low levels of cucurbitacin, but sometimes the pics occasional one can still have high enough levels to kill people.