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10 photos that proved to us we have no idea where our food comes from
There's so much we take for granted when it comes to our food.
Jessica
08.03.21

We’re not exaggerating when we said we had no idea that some of our favorite foods grow the way they do.

By the time food makes it to our plates, it’s unclear exactly where it came from or what it’s been through. Food processing and the distance it travels aren’t something most companies advertise.

That means plenty of us take our food for granted, never even thinking about where it comes from or the effort it takes to grow and harvest it.

Anyone who has had a voluminous veggie garden or has worked on a farm will find some of these photos familiar. But even then, we still think some will be surprising.

These 10 foods start out in ways we really didn’t expect:

1. Asparagus

Pxfuel
Source:
Pxfuel

Asparagus fields look like someone went to the store, bought some stalks, and stuck them in the ground. In fact, we remember laughing the first time we ever saw one!

But, in fact, asparagus just grows straight up out of the ground.

2. Cranberries

Cranberries grow in bogs! Weird, right?

You can find the berries floating in bogs and marshes along with layers of sand, peat, and gravel. The bogs are often flooded to aid in the harvest of the fruits.

Who knew? Not us.

NeedPix
Source:
NeedPix

3. Pineapples

This is how pineapples are grown from r/interestingasfuck

We have to admit that this photo struck us as so funny and unlikely that we had to look it up to make sure it wasn’t Photoshopped.

But this is, indeed, how pineapples grow!

Most people envision pineapples growing on trees, but it turns out they grow straight up from the ground!

4. Pistachios

Pixabay
Source:
Pixabay

Pistachios are pricey for a reason too. They’re incredibly water-intensive and difficult to grow.

Pistachios grow on huge 20- to 30-foot trees. And the real kicker is that they don’t even start bearing edible nuts for the first 15-20 years of their lives!

5. Almonds

NeedPix
Source:
NeedPix

Almonds are a water-intensive crop because they grow on trees that take around 5 years to start bearing fruit.

The nuts themselves grow beneath pretty white flowers on the trees – and they’re harvested in late summer after the nut hulls have split open.

6. Wasabi

Wikimedia Commons
Source:
Wikimedia Commons

Wasabi can be tricky to grow.

What we eat is the macerated root, but the plant itself has large, leafy greens above the dirt and has to be grown under a shade cloth because it’s so delicate.

7. Cashews

Wikimedia Commons
Source:
Wikimedia Commons

There’s a reason cashews are expensive. Simply getting them into nut form is a laborious process!

Cashews grow on trees, but not in the way you might think. The cashew nut is the bottom part of something called a cashew apple, the fruit the tree produces. And each fruit produces just one cashew!

The nut has to be pulled from the fruit, then dried and steamed before being removed from its shell.

8. Paprika

Pxhere
Source:
Pxhere

Paprika starts off as a little pepper on the paprika pepper plant.

To get the ground spice, one first has to dry the red fruits before pulverizing them.

9. Chickpeas

Flickr
Source:
Flickr

Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) grow on bushy plants that can grow up to 18 inches high.

The “peas” are the seeds that grow inside small pods that sprout from the plant.

10. Black pepper

Flickr
Source:
Flickr

If you’ve only ever seen black pepper as a fine powder, then you might be surprised by the way it grows.

But having seen peppercorns, you’ll easily be able to imagine them starting out as tiny, unripe fruits.

Black pepper starts off as green peppercorns on the Piper nigrum plant and they cluster together like grapes. The fruits are first cooked and then sun-dried.

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Ready to learn some more interesting facts about food?

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By Jessica
hi@sbly.com
Jessica is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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