Why don’t we have seedless apples? Seems like there would be a market for an apple where there is no core to throw away, and no cyanide-laced seeds.
FWIW, I eat the whole apple except the stem. I avoid chewing the seeds in which case, they pass undigested as they are designed to do. But even so, the amount of cyanide in one apple seed is tiny. I wonder how much is in an almond.
Not all fruits develop in the same way, or from the same anatomical parts - an apple is a ‘false fruit’ that develops from basically part of the stem of the flower. A berry (including watermelons, grapes and banananananas) forms from the ovary of a flower.
Actually, I’m not sure that’s the exact reason some fruit can be seedless, but the point is that not all fruit is the same kind of thing - and in some cases, development of the edible part either cannot, or will not proceed without the developing seeds being there. Stone fruits like cherries are a really good example - the flesh of the cherry requires the structure of the stone upon which to form.
I think the simple answer is because the seeded versions of fruit like watermelon, grapes and bananas all have seeds within the area to be eaten, making it annoying to remove the seeds while eating; while apples have their seeds relegated to the core area, making it easy to eat around the core or cut away the seedless flesh from the core.
Not sure of the answer.
Wanted to point out that we have fruitless (crabapple) apple trees. Similarly we have fruitless peach, plum, cherry etc etc. These trees are usually ornamentals / flowering trees.
At the same time : I know of no fruitless watermelon, grapes or banana plants.
I really like this answer because it totally ignores the biology of the plant (that’s not sarcastic or snarky, just reality) and focuses on the economics. There may or may not be good botanical answers to the OP, but this is indeed the simplest: The market for such a product is probably not worth the effort to make it.
(I very often find that when my kids ask questions like “Why do they make it this way?” or “Why do they sell it that way?”, 90% of the time the answer is simply “marketing”. (Yes, I do try to explain the marketing side of it to them.)
There are seedless apple varieties like the Spencer Seedless, but it seems that their quality isn’t so hot.
I want to know what happened to Mrs. Libby Wilcox’s freak tree, reported in 1941.
“The first coreless, seedless apples known to science were discovered only last year. Weighing a plump quarter-pound each, they grow on a freak tree in Mrs. Libbie Wilcox’s backyard in Huntington Park, Calif.”
“This week the Department of Agriculture is working with the tree in the hope of making seedless apples as commonplace as seedless oranges. Since there are no seeds to plant, the new fruit must be propagated by grafts on normal apple trees.”