As I marvel over blue creme filled Oreos, a thought occurs. Why isn’t there more blue food to eat? I don’t mean the obscenely sweetened artificially colored confections at convenience store check outs. Why aren’t there blue vegetables? Or why not blue meat? With the exceptions of a few berries, our options are limited in the natural world.
What was it about the color blue that was selected against in the long slow march towards todays available produce? Was blue simply too irresistible to early plant eaters? Did the blue fruits and vegetables get eaten first, forcing evolution to select for different colors? Perhaps there was some blue taboo during man’s first agricultural exploits. What ever the reason, blue is certainly under represented in the produce isle.
Being schooled in science, I understand that biology and chemistry pretty much rule out blue meat. However, aside from a few birds and a few fish, we don’t eat many blue animals. Why isn’t blue an option for hair color in the mammal world? Does the same biochemical processes that preclude blue meat also preclude blue hair? No it doesn’t. I once had an Australian Shepard dog that had blue patches of fur (quite common for that breed).
We know that the blue wave lengths reach sea level. We know that it’s commonly reflected back into space by our large bodies of water. Blue has one of the shortest wavelengths in the spectrum. Perhaps it’s not readily absorbed by a large portion of the animal kingdom. Not being used, perhaps it was selected against in favor of reds and greens and browns.
In science fiction, alien food is sometimes blue. It makes me long for first contact with an advanced species that would share with us their technology and blue food. Until that day, I’ll have to settle for artificial coloring. Just imagine though, a blue vegetables in a green salad. It’s so pretty I might actually eat one.