I’ve noticed some discussion online lately about seedless watermelons and claims that they are “genetically modified,” which somehow makes them a black sheep in the world of produce. I’d like to take this time to set the record straight and restore dignity and honor to the great seedless watermelon by making this declaration:

Seedless watermelons are NOT genetically modified. They are hybrid watermelons that have been grown in the United States for more than 50 years and are safe and delicious in every way!

Allow me to explain. Actually, I’ll let the National Watermelon Promotion Board explain, because they do a good job of it on their website. Here’s what they have to say:

“A seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. This is similar to the mule, produced by crossing a horse with a donkey. This process does not involve genetic modification.”

So there you have it. Seedless watermelons are just regular watermelons, albeit a relatively younger relative of the traditional seeded watermelon. Despite being the new kid on the block, the seedless watermelon actually outsells its seeded peers by a significant margin. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, only 16 percent of watermelon sold in grocery stores has seeds. In 2003, that number was 43 percent.

Oh sure, sometimes I miss those little black seeds, but it’s mainly for nostalgic reasons. Sort of the way I miss shopping for new clothes before the start of a new school year. Does it mean I want to spend an entire Saturday in the mall with my mother telling me I’ll “grow into” the five pairs of pants we just spent three hours trying on? Not a chance.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a wedge of watermelon in the fridge with my name on it. Seedless, of course… and my pants fit me just fine.


  1. ed says:

    the watermelons are tasteless because the farmer picks them green.
    they spoil quickly.
    I have some bad ones, and if you want to see if it a good melon have your grower or grocer plug it.

    all that produce is like that, if you want good produce find it locally or grow your own.

    I wont buy anything but seedless.

  2. linda owens says:

    The seedless watermelons not only taste terrible but the structure and or texture are mutated, almost like rubber. A good watermelon should be sweet, juicy and crunchy.The hybrid watermelon is TASTELESS! I HATE THEM! Why would anyone change the most delicious fruit? Because humans are so lazy they can’t pick out a few seeds? Pitiful

  3. Judy S. says:

    Thanks for the clarification! I wanted to understand how they are made and I’m glad it’s natural. Seedless watermelons in fact are very tasty, crunchy and sweet. It all depends on where you buy it from. If its natural or locally grown, it’s truly the best. Those who think they’re not good should try a different source. Seedless is safer for children and less messy.

  4. Veera says:

    Lind Owens – You are 100% i support yur view as mine is the same

  5. Baggygal says:

    I purchased a great seedless the other day. It was red, sweet and crunchy, the best I have had all season. Watermelon is highly alkaline so eat up.

  6. Erica says:

    Love seedless watermelon. Don’t buy anything else. I suggest people try a different source for produce if you have a bad experience. I’ve even returned bad ones to the store. Grew the seedless watermelon in my backyard for the first time. I was sent pollinator seeds and regular seeds. Soooo tasty.

  7. Joseph says:

    To all those that prefer seedless over regular. All of you really are in the minority, I myself have stopped buying seedless watermelon and have decided to grow my own watermelon. Those that miss the regular watermelon, I tend to share with them. Just because you prefer seedless does not reflect those who prefer regular watermelons. We’ve just stopped buying them in grocery stores since they’re all seedless.

  8. Scott says:

    Watermelon is my favourite food. In my experience the flavour of seedless watermelon is inferior to those with seeds. I’m lazy too so I just eat the seeds. Really I eat them because they are nutritious.

  9. Manny says:

    I enjoy both the seeded and seedless varieties but I don’t understand how you can change the number of chromosomes in a plant and claim its genetics are not modified.

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