Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This is the Industrialization of Food

    A Tale of Two Apples Annotated

    A Tale of Two Apples

    America’s favorite apple, the Red Delicious, was first harvested in Iowa in 1874. Back then, Iowa was one of the country’s top apple growers. But if you live in Des Moines today, your apples probably come from Washington state, the source of more than half of the country’s crop. But there are a few important differences between a typical Red Delicious from an Iowa farm and its globe-trotting cousin from the Northwest.



    Average Distance From Farm To Shelf

    61 miles

    1,722 miles

    Additional Packaging

    Put into bags or boxes for shipping

    Coated with carnauba wax or shellac to preserve freshness; “Washington apple” sticker applied; put into bags or boxes for shipping

    Earliest On-Shelf Date

    Within 2 days of harvest

    Within 1 week of harvest

    Cold Storage

    May be refrigerated for up to 2 months

    May be kept in sealed, reduced-oxygen, controlled-atmosphere storage for up to 8 months


    September to October

    September to October


    No later than mid-December


    Transportation Impact

    Shipping a pound of Washington apples to Iowa requires 30 times more fuel and releases 30 times more CO2 than shipping a pound of Iowa apples to a local market.


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