Why Is Blue Food So Rare In Nature?
In my quest to include a complete rainbow of vegetable colors in my meals I became annoyed that there are no blue vegetables. At least nothing true blue. That’s when I came across the George Carlin video above where he conjectures that some nefarious force is keeping the blue food from us because it is the elixir for immortality. I’m sure somewhere a hidden mystical village exists with a spectacular fountain of youth at the center surrounded by a landscape laden with blue fruits, and vegetables. 🙂
Of course in the fruit department, there are blueberries but even those are purple. Almost all of the so-called blue fruits, or vegetables end up being violet in color. For sure blue is a rare color when it comes to edible foliage. The only thing I can think of is blue quandong, or blue figs, but who the heck eats that anyway?
Apparently, humans and animals seem to find blue food unappetizing. In fact, the color blue has been found to be an appetite suppressant. Evolution has made us see blue food as dangerous in some way. Really though the two types of chemicals responsible for bright colors within edible food, anthocyanins & carotenoids, both have the color red in common. This is probably because nature wants the food to stand out against the dominant green foliage caused by chlorophyll. So when you always have red present it’s not that easy to get blue. Red and yellow give you orange while red, and green gives you yellow. Red and blue give you purple. Unless the red is substantially dialed down you won’t get blue since it’s a primary color like red, and green. If you’re looking for the culprit causing the lack of blue vegetables, and rarity of blue fruit then blame evolution choosing red as the color constant when it comes to mixing up the palettes for fruits, and vegetables. Interestingly enough, blue light is touted as being bad for our eyes!