Home > Uncategorized > A New Breed of Strawberries- the “Purple Wonder”

A New Breed of Strawberries- the “Purple Wonder”



Scientists at Cornell University have now announced that they’ve managed to breed a new type of strawberries- purple ones. They say that the “Purple Wonder” is designed to stun with both its taste and its color, the deep burgundy you see in the picture. The Purple Wonder is was bred to be a more intense strawberry flavor, with a more aromatic flare- “Purple Wonder is sweet and aromatic, with outstanding strawberry flavor,” Courtney Weber, a small fruits breeder and associate professor of horticulture at Cornell, said in a statement. “But the color is something you won’t be able to find in any grocery store.”

The medium-sized berries start off creamy-white and then turn red before deepening into their dark purple hue. This new fruit will be unveiled on March 5th, at the Philadelphia International Flower Show. Cornell has the licensing agreement to sell the seeds to whoever they wish. The plan is to market the fruit to home gardeners. This new breed of fruit also contains a high level of antioxidants that makes it a great health booster. The fruit is bred to be able to be produced across nearly all of the continental United States.

My thoughts on this is that it is a great and interesting way to delve into the food market with a new product. It is a great thing that scientists can manipulate plants to be able to make them healthier and sweeter tasting. A market like this has great potential for the future. Do you guys think that it is taking it too far to be able to manipulate nature and to sell it to others to enjoy? Should we just let nature be?

  1. anthonypribadi
    March 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Wow. I would like to try those strawberries while I am here in US! Anyway, this topic is interesting! And in fact, the discussion could be extended even further.

    I’ve heard about scientists trying to manipulate human cells to become resistant towards a particular virus/disease. I don’t know how they are progressing now, but I hope they are doing just fine. This research seems fine to me. However, I’ve heard that some ‘crazier’ scientists are trying to ‘produce’ human by manipulating human cells. So the idea (speaking loosely) is, instead of doing the ‘usual way’ to have a baby, they can just plant a baby-to-be cell inside a woman’s womb. Now, this annoys me a bit, somehow.

    My thought is, under some circumstances we should manipulate nature, because nature is there to be manipulated. But under other circumstances, we should just let nature be just the way it is. Which falls in which category? I am not too sure about that. I’ll let the philosophers think about that. :p

  2. Ben Harrison
    March 8, 2012 at 2:11 am

    We have lived with nature just the way it is for hundreds of years. I really see no reason to reengineer what is doing a perfectly fine job on its own. I really think that the only reason to manipulate anything at a genetic level is for the purpose of space exploration. I know it may sound ridiculous, but here on Earth, everything is fine.

    Any problems that we are trying to correct are caused by humanity. To take a strawberry and make it taste better… why is that even necessary? As for the health benefits, shouldn’t we focus on getting everyone to eat healthier things before making said healthy things healthier? If someone doesn’t eat right, meaning perhaps they don’t eat any fruits, how is making a fruit healthier going to help?

    I can only see this problem getting worse. At least now when we go to the supermarket we can see what we are buying… strawberries. If this genetic manipulation is allowed to run rampant, who knows what we will face at the supermarket. Companies will be saying that their genetically modified strawberry is better than the competition, without a doubt the more experimentation that would happen would cause more chances of a side effect…. I could go on for hours, but I have a paper to write, so I will leave it at that.

    • March 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Have we really “lived with nature just the way it is,” though? We, other animals, plants, &c., are constantly changing ourselves and our environments–developing pesticides, other chemicals, &c. for our own survival and health. An Earth that gives rise to diseases to plague us, plants, animals, and bacteria to harm us, and natural disasters to kill us is perfectly fine, to be sure–but so too are our efforts to alter these to make it more fit for our survival.

      No more harmful to our existence is a man-made chemical than a “natural” one, such as cyanide from apple seeds, acrylamide from coffee, or mercury from fish. Furthermore, when many of the world can’t even get enough food for nourishment, it is offensive and aloof for you to suggest that we not work to make sure that those nutrients are available in non-traditional forms. You’d probably have it that we shouldn’t even be vaccinated–after all, it must be Mother Nature’s wish for us to die from polio, and surely the existence of polio alone must have been some sort of testament to human ineptitude or neglect!

      You have fun with your paper. I’m off to buy some purple strawberries.

    • March 12, 2012 at 3:34 am

      One the one hand, I have to agree with you that commercialization of genetic engineering of fruit is definitely not a good thing. It would be unnecessary and frankly quite annoying if every strawberry was a different strain and each claimed to be the best because of reason a, b, or c. But on the other hand, it’s really cool and awesome that people were able to create a new strain of strawberry, especially one that claims to have more health benefits than the normal strawberry.

      Then, I’d like to bring up another point. While this new strain of strawberry was created by man usually unnatural processes, all that they did was modify what happens in nature… DIfferent strains come about in nature when two different types of species “cross-pollinate.” So even though the new strain didn’t come up naturally, there’s a chance that it could have, so it doesn’t seem that wrong.

  3. March 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Personally, I am a fruit and veggie fanatic and seeing that there is a new strawberry I can try excites me. Genetic modifications with food can go in either and negative or positive direction but I really think this a cool new side to a strawberry and can definitely grow in popularity. Of course, this depends on the taste of the new berry, but we will just have to see. It definitely has potential though to become a major fruit that people buy. I mean we see modifications of fruits and veggies at the grocery store all the time.
    I really do like the name of these new strawberries as well. It’s cute and catching. Although, the photo posted of them don’t make them seem too purple, their color still brings some mystery. The good thing about “Purple Wonders” is that they’re not so incredibly different that people wouldn’t be hesitant to try them. If they get popular I will definitely try them!

  4. March 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    After reading this post, I am both incredibly interested and wildly conflicted. On one hand, I agree with Ben and believe that nature has been doing an excellent job on its own for hundreds of years, but I also wonder what will happen if nature’s ability to produce falters? In our rapidly modernizing and expanding world, genetically modifying food has become the norm in many circumstances, such as a major corporation like Monsanto. Members of society are growing fonder of the scientific community and depending more and more on modified goods in order to increase food production at a faster rate. Owners/investors/farmers/etc., are depending on the amount of consumers buying their goods and people are depending on modified foods because they are generally cheaper than natural food. Nature is beautiful and pure, but what if nature cannot adequately supply enough to our rapidly expanding and greedy society? What if nature can no longer fill our growing demands? No longer is everything natural in the store. Modified foods bombard the shelves, and oftentimes naturally labeled products are not even entirely 100% organic and pure. Nowadays, the “organic food” has a separate section in the store and is known to be more expensive, yet healthier for you.
    Although these purple strawberries seem delicious and will most likely have people flocking to the store, I’m not entirely sure if I will. At the moment, these new fruits are the talk of the town, yet I wonder when modifying the taste, size, and color of other fruits/veggies and labeling them as new food will become a typical occurrence. Similar to what Ben stated in his comment, I am fearful that the new products will dominate the old and that natural will no longer be as relevant in today’s society. People need to realize that nothing is wrong with natural, and that newer is not always better.

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