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Uploaded:2017-10-06
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In a lot of ways, it's pretty wonderful that we live at a time where we can benefit from the work and intelligence of literally thousands of generations of people. We rarely think of the people alive today who work to bring us are food, let alone the people tens of thousands of years ago who began the process of creating the hundreds of different varieties of food we find in our grocery stores today.

Thanks to all those dead people!



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Preorder John's new book, Turtles All the Way Down, out October 10th 2017! You can find links to both the signed and unsigned editions here: http://bit.ly/turtlespreorder and information on how to (probably) get a signed copy here: http://probablysignedturtles.com
Good morning John.

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to make a video about. And so you call your brother and you ask him and he reminds you that he's really stressed out right now, maybe a little bit sad, also. And he just wants a video about humans being joyful and amazing. So John, here is a video about people being joyful because their fruits and vegetables are amazing. Humans have been selectively breeding plants since there was agriculture. Resulting in some pretty fantastic transformations. Like check out this ancient ancestor of the carrot. No thanks.

And this seedy, little, green, banana ball. I think I'd rather not, thank you. And my very favourite agricultural transformation. This spindly, little grass seed here was apparently useful enough that we kept breeding it and breeding it and breeding it until finally we got freakin' corn! What‽

And we remain very good at this, so good that we just do it for fun now. And we end up with ludicrously large fruits and vegetables and I like them and I love to see the people who are so happy about them. Lets start out with the smallest of the big. The largest apple ever, only four pounds. Also on the list of surprisingly small, large things is the largest ever potato, only eight pounds. Though, if you extend that to sweet potatoes, Lebanese farmer Khalil Semhat would have something to say about it with his 25-pound sweet potato. 

In 1988, Alaskan farmer and mechanical engineer, John Evans, grew the largest ever cabbage, over 76 pounds. And until this year, John Evans was also the record holder for the worlds largest carrot. But this year the title was taken by Minnesotan Chris Qualley with his 22 pound carrot that is frankly, upsetting to look at. This here is Tim Saint, he did not grow the largest zucchini, but I did very much like that picture of him holding it. 

Likewise, look at this happy woman who has grown the world's largest pineapple. It's Christine McCallum, thank you. Of course, as long as we're talking happy people holding their giant vegetables, here's Peter Glazebrook holding his world's largest onion like a baby. Oh yeah. Peter Glazebrook and his onion are the cutest thing. I love them.

Trees and bushes will often have a structural problem with growing giant fruit, which is why this world's largest tomato is being held up up by some pantyhose. But weirdly enough, there is a variety of lemon called the Nine Pound Lemon tree that grows nine pound lemons, or more. And somehow it manages this just fine. And there are a few Nine Pound Lemon trees at Epcot in Orlando where, I think, the world's largest lemon was harvested, 15 pounds.

Now, beating out all this stuff by a lot are the gourds. Not the band, there is a band called "The Gourds." Melons, squashes, cucumbers are all members of the gourd family and gourds can grow very big. The world's largest watermelon grown by Chris Kent in Tennessee, weighed in at over 350 pounds. And remember that the largest thing on this list so far was that 76 pound cabbage, this is a big watermelon. But it is nothing compared to the biggest pumpkin.

Now, here's the situation. The pumpkin is the biggest fruit or vegetable, so if you grow the largest pumpkin, you have grown the largest fruit. John, I didn't know this until I started researching this video but there are giant pumpkin festivals all over the world. So the fight for who has the largest pumpkin is hard fought, and in 2016 the winner beat the previous record by over 300 pounds. Mathis Willemijns of Belgium hit it out of the park. It's 2600 pounds. Look at this man, he is a star. 

But, these festivals tend to be held around October 10th, which I know is an important day for other reasons, so we don't know if Mathis' pumpkin is gonna get beat out in 2017. John, the world championship of pumpkins weigh-off is this Sunday. I don't know about you, but that is going to take over all the anxiety I have over anything else; that's all I'll be thinking about, is this wonderful pumpkin championship, nothing else is going to stress me out. Just be at peace, you'll be fine, your book is great, people will love it, and John, I will see you on Sunday, when I fly to New York City. On the very day of the European Championship of Pumpkins weigh-off. Best of luck to all the pumpkin competitors at all the festivals. I think that you and your pumpkins are just great. And in the end, you can turn them into a canoe, and there is actually a canoe race that's just pumpkin canoes. Humans, WOW.
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