I like figs, and like most of us all I enjoy sitting under my back-yard fig tree, embracing my individual freedom, or what freedom I used to have before we in Melbourne lost everything. And I imagine that the anti-freedom police will be here soon to cut down my metaphorical fig tree. Shades of Adam and Eve! Anyway, blow me over, no easy task given my whale-like weight, there are wasps who live in figs. Didn’t know that, but now I do.
“If you’re a fig lover, this next sentence may be hard for you to swallow. The figs you’re eating could have a dead wasp stuck in them. I know that probably makes you squirm, but it sounds more dramatic than it is. You may think the idea of wasps inside a fig is gross, but it’s actually pretty amazing to see how nature knows exactly what it needs to do to allow both plant and insect species to survive. Figs and fig wasps have a mutually beneficial relationship — something that’s officially called mutualism — that developed over millions of years of evolution. They need each other to survive. Fig wasps help pollinate figs and, in turn, the figs provide a safe place for the wasps to lay their eggs. This relationship is crucial to a balanced ecosystem and is also crucial to you enjoying a fresh fig or that fig jam you love. So, don’t let this tidbit of information make you shy away from eating figs. The fruit, or technically flower, is full of resistant starch, potassium and other nutrients such as magnesium and choline, that help keep you healthy. Plus, you’re probably already eating a lot of bugs without even realizing it. Read on to see what I mean. Why Do Figs Need Wasps?