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Figs Are Not Vegan Because They Are Full of Dead Wasps

Figs Are Not Vegan Because They Are Full of Dead Wasps


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That’s right, hold on to your horses; figs are not in fact the vegan fruit you thought they were! This fancy fruit has been depicted in a mythical light for thousands of years, from Adam and Eve clad in fig leaves in the Garden of Eden to Buddha achieving enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, a large and sacred fig tree.

More recently, figs are being heralded for their naturally sweet flesh and their abundant calcium and potassium. They’re often used by healthy eaters as a sugar substitute, and they’re delicious in a multitude of recipes.

But botanically speaking, a fig is actually more of an inverted flower than a fruit. These flowers bloom inside the unripe fig-shaped “fruit,” which later ripens into the fruit that we enjoy so thoroughly. Because of their backwards, inside-out nature, figs cannot rely on normal methods, like wind or bees, for pollination.

Enter the fig wasp. This wasp and the fig tree have great understanding, a mutualistic relationship that both benefit from, though seemingly a little more at the expense of the female wasp. (Even in nature, females cannot get a break!)

The deal is this: The fig gets pollinated and the darling little wasp gets to lay her eggs inside the fruit, but for a price. As the female wasp crawls into the fig, her antennae and wings break off — mother’s sacrifice, don’tcha know. Crawling up the small passage within the fig is this mother wasp’s final journey, for there she will die. In a fascinating twist, the fig ends up using an enzyme known as ficin to break down the wasp’s body into protein. Once the baby wasps are born, the males (often born without wings) chew a way out before fertilizing the newly born female wasps. The females then emerge from the fig, ready to spread the pollen from their fig, to another fig tree by repeating the same cycle, assisting in the reproduction of the fig tree and laying their own eggs in the process.

You will be relieved to know that the wasps aim to lay their eggs in the male figs, while the figs we eat are female. But occasionally a female wasp will accidentally crawl into a female fig, where, due to a lack of space, she is unable to lay her eggs — though she dies, just the same, alone in a fig, with no antennae or wings. She’s just a fig wasp, stuck in a fig, unable to escape.

So there you have it. Are you shocked to your core? Are you vowing to never eat a fig again? Don’t worry, many of the figs sold and bought in the U.S. are from California, where a large majority of the fig trees are actually self-pollinating. How’s that for an anti-climax?


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


This fact about figs is sure to bug you!

Flavorful figs are Middle East natives. Green Prophet Linda Pappagallo wrote about this in a swell story about the versatile little foodstuff. Did you know they come in more than 750 varieties? They also come with a little surprise tucked inside – a secret ingredient that will delight and disgust you in equal measure.

File this under “you are what you eat”, or maybe under “Nature rocks!”.

It turns out that most of the figs we eat contain at least one dead wasp. It’s true. Not a fruit fly (figs are not fruit, but more on this later), not a mosquito (no fear of fig-related Zika), but a tiny little insect whose relationship with a tree spawned a global love affair with a food that reaches back to antiquity.

The common fig is not a fruit, but an inverted flower. Its blossoms grow within the pear-shaped pod, and later mature into the sweet, seed-laden pulp that we love to eat. Because fig flowers bloom internally, beyond the reach of bees and wind, they require a special pollination process. Here’s where the fig wasp comes in. Take that literally.

Look at the bottom of any fig, and spot a tiny belly button (see image above). It’s leads to a narrow passage called an ostiole, and the female fig wasp uses it to crawl inside to lay its eggs. It’s not pretty. She will scrape off her wings and antennae pushing her body through the tiny opening, and if she mistakenly enters a female fig, it’s game over, as only male (called caprifigs) have special chambers suitable for egg-laying. Incidentally, we don’t eat male figs only the females are fit for human consumption.

Eggs deposited, she starts to drop pollen too, until she soon dies of exhaustion, or loneliness?, or starvation. Her sons hatch first, emerging blind and wingless. They seek out their sisters – as yet unborn – and impregnate them. Now the boys start eating their way out of the fig, in the process carving new escape tunnels from which they never emerge (that exhaustion thing again).

The girls awaken, and set to work collecting the pollen. They crawl out the tunnels made by their bros and fly away to lay their own eggs in other male figs. The circle of life.

So is that natural crunch of a fig a wasp carcass? Nope, just seeds. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the dead wasps into protein that becomes an integral part of the fig. Learn more about the cycle in the video clip that follows:

This relationship between wasp and tree is called mutualism and it has evolved over 80 million years. Science has proven that groups of genetically well-defined pollinator wasp species coevolve in association with specific groups of figs, resulting in the constant evolution of new pollinator wasp species. The upshot is an always-increasing diversity in figs.

Has this info turned you off the fragrant fig? Hopefully it’s turned you on to the wonder of nature. August is prime picking for figs. Check out other stories from Green Prophets Karin Kloosterman, Kelly Vaghenas, and Miriam Kresh for recipes including a fancy Fig Ice Cream. And yes, despite dead bugs, figs are perfectly vegan.


Watch the video: Καταγγελία: Το εμβόλιο έχει παρενέργειες οι οποίες δεν καταγράφονται (June 2022).


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    No, I can't tell you.

  4. Bartalan

    I have thought and have removed the message

  5. Nahuatl

    Brilliantly



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