Seedless Watermelon

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why do farmers and grocery stores get away with calling seedless watermelon “seedless”? Where is truth in advertising? Shouldn’t the FDA being doing something?

I’ve eaten more than my fair share of watermelon and believe myself to be fully qualified to determine the presence (or absence) of seeds. In any case, it’s not like you need a doctorate in agriculture or melonology, whatever, to realize that so called “seedless” watermelons are anything but. Well, technically, they do have less, as in fewer, seeds, but that’s not what “seed-less” implies, is it? “Seedless” means zero seeds.

At best, seedless watermelons have none of the larger, I think more mature, more intelligent black seeds – the one’s you spit out into your yard or at the beach. (“What? You don’t spit out your watermelon seeds? …Let me guess, Mr. Trump, you eat your pizza with a knife and a fork?”) Maybe they should be called “Seeded Watermelon Light.” Maybe not.

The problem is, the smaller white seeds are harder to get out of the watermelon than the big black ones, making seedless watermelons more tedious to eat than the regular kind. Even worse, maybe it’s just my imagination, but I don’t think seedless watermelons, which tend to be smaller, taste as good as their adult counterparts.

Seeded or seedless watermelons? It’s just one more decision we can do without making. Life is too short – and real watermelon way to good on a hot day – to settle for any less than the real thing.



2 responses to “Seedless Watermelon

  1. How do gardeners determine if a watermelon is seedless or not?

    • Hi. I’m no scientist, but here goes.

      As I understand it, a seedless watermelon is a hybrid, the result of blending a standard watermelon with only 2 sets of chromosomes (a so-called “diploid”) with one that has 4 sets of chromosomes (a “tetraploid”). The result, is a “triploid,” a hybrid with only 3 sets of chromosomes. When the triploid seeds are planted, the fruit they grow is generally, that is to say, mostly seedless.

      To answer your question directly, farmers and gardeners know the watermelons they’re growing are seedless because the seeds they planted were specially made to grow a seedless fruit.

      How ’bout them apples? …i mean, watermelons?

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