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Author Topic: How many naturally blue foods are there?
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Most post in this thread related my aversion to foods that are colored blue. For some reason my brain doesn't recognize that color as belonging to a natural food that is "safe" for me to eat. I can only think of two foods - blueberries and blue corn chips - that are naturally colored "blue" (although to me it often looks more like an indigo or purplish-blue).

My real aversion is to bright blue colors, like blue M&M's and blue Powerade. So I started wondering, how many foods are naturally blue? Is my brain's inability to recognize these colors as belonging to a food product some sort of ancestral safety-net for recognizing what's ok to eat? Most natural foods are shades of brown, green, reds, oranges, and yellows, and some fruits and veggies are purple or pinkish. But I can only think of two foods that are naturally blue - the aforementioned blueberries and corn chips. Is there a reason for this? Is there a reason for my aversion to blue foods? Has anyone else pondered this, or only me?

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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Well, there's blue cheese -- which is actually a white cheese with a veining of blue mold.

And there are, believe it or not, blue potatoes.

Nonny

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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GooglyEyes
The First USA Noel


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It's somewhat related, I though you might enjoy this link:
Blue Foods

As to naturally blue foods, would blue-scaled fish count? Can't think of any off hand but I've seen pictures I tells ya!

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ctown28
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Well if there are blue corn chips, doesn't it make sense that there is also blue corn?
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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Purple cabbage turns blue if it's been cooked and then refrigerated; does that count?

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Wow, thanks, GooglyEyes, that's actually exactly what I was looking for:

quote:
Blue food is a rare occurrence in nature. There are no leafy blue vegetables (blue lettuce?), no blue meats (blueburger, well-done please), and aside from blueberries and a few blue-purple potatoes from remote spots on the globe, blue just doesn't exist in any significant quantity as a natural food color. Consequently, we don't have an automatic appetite response to blue. Furthermore, our primal nature avoids food that are poisonous. A million years ago, when our earliest ancestors were foraging for food, blue, purple and black were "color warning signs" of potentially lethal food.
Just as I thought!

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I'm with you on this one Cervus. My feelings about blue food has brought years of enjoyment to my young'ns. "Oooh, a blue skittle. Let's see if we can get dad to eat it." They have even intentionally shopped for blue beverages (Kool-Aid, Powerade) 'cos they knew I wouldn't drink it. After all I've done for them, too.

I think my aversion started in 8th grade after I read "2001 a Space Oddessy".

- ParaDiddle

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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Interesting... I suppose there are likely also some blue plants but I don't know if they are edible.

I usually avoid foods that are blue (junk foods, etc) because I don't like the artificial blueberry or blue raspberry flavors that artificially blue-colored foods usually taste like.
I do, however, like blue Powerade. In fact it's the ONLY Powerade flavor I like.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I have a similar aversion to blue drinks... we don't get blue Powerade over here so that basically means any cocktail involving blue curacao and lemonade. Although that might be more to do with the "pan-Galactic gargle blasters" from our college bar, and the vague memory of several boat club dinners, than it is an ancestral response.
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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Blue food is a rare occurrence in nature
Which is why of course kitchen plasters are blue - instantly recognisable if they slip off your finger into the souffle batter!

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


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There's a reason why blue is hard (impossible?) to come by in foods. Yes, there's the purpley blues of corn, potatoes, and blueberries, but I think we're talking about blue blue here.

Now, I know I've seen blue flowers. Heck I used to grow them in my garden. Specifically bachelor's button flowers. (here's another example) So I know blue is a possible plant kingdom colour. But why not in foods? That's a bit further than I can figure out completely, but blue is rare and I'm piecing together why.


Most plant life contains a combination of chlorophyll, keratins and anthocyanins in some combination (plus other things, of course). Chlorophyll makes things appear green. Keratins make things appear red, yellow or orange. Anthocyanins have a wider scope and can reflect back reds, purples, yellows, magentas and blues. Pretty much, how an anthocyanin displays colour depends on the pH of the soil/air around the plant. (We all remember light absorption stuff from science class, right? I'm not really wanting to go into that, since I'm pretty confident I don't need to.)

Now, even if the conditions were right for an anthocyanin to display only blue, the chlorophyll and keratins are still there, right? So, there's one reason why blue is so rare, there needs to be a condition where nothing but it shows through. Like a flower, I guess. Chlorophyll and keratin are going to more reserved for the rest of the plant (especially since chlorophyll is an 'in demand' compound, required for the entire plant to stay alive, flowers are just short term things used to continue the species.) Why aren't berries like flowers then? They're short term products of the reproductive cycle too. Well, those need to contain (I'm guessing here, as we just left my base biology knowledge) enough nutrients for the seeds found within.

Would it be possible to breed bright blue berries? I'd think so, but the quality of flavour, and nutrients would be far diminished.

Personally, I like bright blue candies and things. They go so against nature, that I find them appealing just for the fun of it. My dad always hated them, for the same reason actually. He would tell me that humans (as an animal) base what's edible by sight and smell, and if the colour isn't right, it's not good to eat, and so his response to blue M&Ms and the ilk was/is repulsion. Me, well, I used to make blue mashed potatoes just for kicks, and it was even funnier if my dad saw me eat them. [Big Grin]

I actually find a bright red/orange to be unappealing. Probably because there were these bushes in yards around where I grew up that grew berries that colour, and I was told that they were poisonous. So, I suppose I have an aversion just because it's a learned response to "don't eat those, they'll make you sick". From what I understand (not being a botanist), Toyon berries contain cyanide, but if cooked right, they can be edible. I'm not going to try, cooked or uncooked.

Reading/reference material:

Link about anthocyanins.

Link about the components in plants: chlorophyll, keratin and anthocyanins.

Simplified "About" page regarding the plant colours.

DOW page, with a blurb regarding Morning Glory flowers and why they change colour.

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Wizard of Yendor
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I haven't researched this much, but there are plenty of edible flowers, I bet some of them are blue.
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Parrot
I Saw Three Shipments


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Are you saying blue skittles aren't natural? I thought they fell from the sky!
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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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What about eggplant?

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
What about eggplant?

aren't eggplants purple?

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Friends are like skittles: they come in many colors, and some are fruity!

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Mallow
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Blue lobsters, not common but a few turn up every year (and some are bright blue); edible flowers: borage flowers are bright blue, as are some pansies.
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BacardiSpice
Deck the Malls


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I'm a nutter for blue - when I lived in the UK, I'd ask friends coming over from the US to bring me Blue Poweraid mix. And blue cocktails always go down a treat...Blue Lagoons go down well, and I love a 'Shark Attack' (Blue Curacao, a couple of types of rum, and a trickle of Grenadine to simulate the obvious in the rich blue 'ocean' of the drink).

I do think 'unnatural' on some level, and the part of me that hates overly-processed foods baulks a bit, but overall I love a good, startling blue colour as a treat. Even if it's just food colouring.

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snopes
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ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Mallow:
Blue lobsters, not common but a few turn up every year (and some are bright blue); edible flowers: borage flowers are bright blue, as are some pansies.

quote:
Originally posted by Wizard of Yendor:
I haven't researched this much, but there are plenty of edible flowers, I bet some of them are blue.

Yes. I'm not sure of anyone else's thoughts, but I wasn't considering flowers as food, necessarily. I know of a recipe to candy violets. We've eaten rose petals in cream. I grew up with some sort of Day lilies in my salads as a treat. Emphasis on treat. I guess, since they aren't sold as food often, I see them more as treats (like candy), maybe it's flavour... maybe it's because you hear "eat five servings of fruits and veggies everyday..." and not "eat five servings of fruits, veggies and flowers..."


Crawdads can be blue too. I was under the (mis?)understanding that once cooked, they are red.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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There aren't that many blue things found in nature at all...plant or otherwise. The sky is blue...but it's not really, it just looks that way...same with water.

I've seen blue poison dart frogs, and I'm sure there are a few other animals that are pure blue (not purple)

And also irises (as in the coloured thing in the eye) can be blue.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Mama Duck
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by MapleLeaf on the rocks:
I've seen blue poison dart frogs, and I'm sure there are a few other animals that are pure blue (not purple)

And also irises (as in the coloured thing in the eye) can be blue.

We're eating poison dart frogs and blue-eyed humans now? Interesting....

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Spicyitalian
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Crawdads can be blue too. I was under the (mis?)understanding that once cooked, they are red.
Yep, the blue ones turn red when cooked, same as the rest of the shellfish. Red being the only stable pigment after cooking and all.

I've considered getting a blue crawdad for my aquarium, but a) they are really expensive and b) they are kinda agressive and would probably eat my shrimp.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by MapleLeaf on the rocks:
There aren't that many blue things found in nature at all...plant or otherwise. The sky is blue...but it's not really, it just looks that way...same with water.

Actually, according to Stephen Fry on QI (and who are we to doubt him?) water is blue. It's just very, very pale blue, so that it looks transparent unless you get a hell of a lot of it together. And the reason the ocean looks blue is the reflection of the sky. But water actually is blue.

As an almost entirely unrelated aside, do you want to know how you can tell the difference between a glass of Coke and one of a different brand without tasting? Hold it up to the light. Other colas are brown - Coke is actually red.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Coke is actually red.



...so's Guinness [Wink]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Nell
The Red and the Green Stamps


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There are blue tortillas, made from blue corn. There's a photo gallery here.
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HazelPhoenix
TR7 Bridges Road


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Interesting threadie ... you see, when I was younger I didn't really care about the colour of the food so much as what I felt it was "supposed" to taste like. To this day I never touch onions or anything like that. It's just too weird for me to eat sweet vegetables! But as for blue food, I have no trouble at all; I love it ... mmm! blue M&Ms! Ehm, those aren't naturally blue, but if it's chocolate, that fact can be overlooked. [Wink]

Cervus, maybe it's just that in childhood you had some sort of traumatizing dream in which gigantic blue food items were chasing you, or something. I have some aversions to odd things (television disclaimer announcements, kitchen knives, weird bugs, eyeballs...) that could be explained away that way . . . . you never know, do ya? [Razz]

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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I never said we eat Poison dart frogs or blue-eyed humans...

quote:
There aren't that many blue things found in nature at all
Clearer?

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Wiley
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'm kinda blue till I get ate.
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zman977
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
Most post in this thread related my aversion to foods that are colored blue. For some reason my brain doesn't recognize that color as belonging to a natural food that is "safe" for me to eat. I can only think of two foods - blueberries and blue corn chips - that are naturally colored "blue" (although to me it often looks more like an indigo or purplish-blue).

My real aversion is to bright blue colors, like blue M&M's and blue Powerade. So I started wondering, how many foods are naturally blue? Is my brain's inability to recognize these colors as belonging to a food product some sort of ancestral safety-net for recognizing what's ok to eat? Most natural foods are shades of brown, green, reds, oranges, and yellows, and some fruits and veggies are purple or pinkish. But I can only think of two foods that are naturally blue - the aforementioned blueberries and corn chips. Is there a reason for this? Is there a reason for my aversion to blue foods? Has anyone else pondered this, or only me?

I thought Blueberries were actually purple. I think George Carlon has a routine about blue food where he mentions this.

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Ever notice how we always fall in love? We never climb gently in to love, or step lightly in to love. If love is such a good thing than why is it described as a fall.

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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Horseshoe crabs have blue blood, but I don't think they are edible.

Also, concerning weird preferences, I don't like bright blue food (I don't like artificially colored food in general), but I'm a chemistry student and I've found cyanide to have the most wonderful smell I've ever experienced, and a very appetizing smell at that.

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