I’ve been trying to think of a few themes to cover in my blog. Not necessarily one major theme – this isn’t an NCIS-only blog (though I’d never be short of topics), but smaller themes to keep me posting on the regular. In scrolling through the interwebs for ideas, I stumbled upon something that is utterly disgusting.
The apples on the shelves of your local grocery store are likely between 9-14 months old.
Now I know the local apple harvest is in the fall, sometimes starting in late Aug and going through October, so I know we’re not harvesting apples in Feb. But I always assumed (in my own naivety) that the apples we had during the off season were just grown elsewhere. Somewhere warmer. I don’t know, can you grow an apple tree in a greenhouse somewhere?
Most apples that aren’t meant for the fresh market (i.e. a fruit stand or local market for sale that day, week, maybe month) aren’t really apples anymore. “They pick the apples when they’re slightly unripe, treat them with a chemical called 1-methylcyclopropene, wax them, box them, stack them on pallets, and keep them in cold storage warehouses for an average of 9-12 months.” I am absolutely grossed out right now. At least most other fruit, while not local in the off-season, doesn’t sit on a shelf for over a year (unless it’s frozen, and I feel better about frozen than sprayed/waxed/kept cold).
That said, it’s hard to only enjoy apples during apple season. I found this link that suggests a few ways to freeze apples for various uses (except eating raw – though I can find something else to dip in almond butter). I plan to give this a try this upcoming fall so that I can enjoy apples year round without wondering if the apples have sat for a year. Anyone have ideas for what to use frozen apples for (other than apple pie)?
Seriously though, am I the only one that didn’t know how long apples sit around before being put for sale?
*Note to self, an apple a day only keeps the doctor away during apple season when purchased from local, organic orchards.