Looks Like an Apple, Tastes Like an Apple?

I received this photo today from my friend, Jerica:

“So I peeled this apple at lunch today but didn’t eat it. I peeled it because it was conventional and I didn’t want to eat the petroleum wax coating. I forgot about the second half, which sat on the counter all day until 8:00 this evening. When I picked it up, I was quite surprised to find that, except in a few bruised places, it had NOT TURNED BROWN AT ALL. And they say irradiated food is ok to eat? It’s totally dead and without enzymes!”

This brought back memories of childhood, when I had negative feelings about a fruit than tended to turn brown before you finished eating it. I thought it was trying to rot before my eyes. Only now do I appreciate the science behind it and the importance of raw foods for the nourishment of our bodies. I always peeled apples, despite being told that the skins contained a large percentage of the nutrients. But now we are told that apples may have as many as 27 different pesticides and other chemicals, many of which are systemic and cannot be peeled off.

Apples are one of the super foods in the American diet. They are filled with antioxidants and have a reputation for fighting asthma, cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes. On the other hand, they also compete for top position on recent lists of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables–along with peaches, celery and strawberries–because of the toxic chemicals used to grow conventional produce.

Can it still be true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? In my opinion it is possible only if you can find a source of fresh, organic apples. I can’t imagine that members of the dirty dozen would boost immunity to the common cold, allergies or any of the usual maladies that cause most of our visits to the family doctor.

Thank goodness we can rely on plain vitamin C powder to supplement our diet rather than relying solely on fresh fruits and vegetables to get enough vitamin C.

Since we live in the South, our apples are shipped in, and we are usually limited to enjoying them in season, which is best for health anyway. Fuji and Red Delicious apples are reported to have the highest phenolic and flavonoid content. We used to get some beauties from our local discount club, but not any more. I suspect there is a growing demand for organic produce as more people learn the advantages of it.

8 thoughts on “Looks Like an Apple, Tastes Like an Apple?

  1. Pingback: Looks Like an Apple, Tastes Like an Apple? | Janr Ssor

  2. cfanningtx

    Interesting. I came across these in the market a couple of weeks ago. They looked good until I read won’t brown when sliced. Apples naturally oxidize when exposed. I passed on that purchase. I’d rather eat a natural apple.

  3. fitjah

    Wow, good to know. I’ll have to check my facts before purchasing from now on. Any advice on good places to find safe fruit? It’s such a bummer to have to avoid foods that could once be so healthy and nutritious! I keep reading about more and more foods with similar issues.

    1. Carole Ramke Post author

      Most of our fruits and vegetables in grocery stores have little stickers showing the PLU code. Conventionally grown produce has four digit numbers. Organic produce should have a 5-digit number beginning with nine. Otherwise, we just have to ask.

  4. brownrootsgrowing

    Choosing organic foods makes a lot of sense. There is so much about chemicals that we don’t know. I will say, though, that as I select varieties of apples for my farm’s orchard, some varieties of trees are marketed especially because they produce apples that don’t brown easily. Thus, the browning characteristic can be a function of breeding rather than chemical application or irradiation.

    1. Carole Ramke Post author

      That’s interesting–thanks for your comment. I can’t complain about selective breeding. I guess the bottom line is whether they are also selecting for nutrition and not just for storage capabilities. However, some of the best organic growers say that their vegetables grown for maximum nutrition also stay fresh longer. Also, I have read that insects are not attracted to leafy greens grown on the best soils because the plants contain more sugars or in some way are not appealing to them.

  5. brownrootsgrowing

    Here’s an example- Cortland Apples: The Cortland apple was developed in 1898 by Professor S.A. Beach of New York. It is another high quality red apple, which often will have dark red streaks on the outside. Inside you will find a crisp, white flesh and a somewhat tart, sweet flavor. Very juicy. A good salad apple because it does not brown for hours after slicing.

    (Description from Heirloom Orchards online Catalogue)

  6. gailkav

    After moving to a new area,I finally found an organic supplier. It’s only a small operation at the moment, and the produce is quite expensive,but the vegetables I have bought so far make it worth it. I have been trying to avoid processed and chemical laden foods for some time now, and I really notice it when I eat the wrong things. I would love to get organic apples,but so far no luck. But that is interesting about the selective breeding apples that don’t brown. That would be far better than supermarket apples,which are kept in the chiller for months here in Australia.


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