Apple season begins in late July/early August in the northern hemisphere. and yet most people tell me that they didn’t know that apples had a “season”. We can thank the BigAg Industrial Complex for not knowing that, and spoiler alert – everything that grows (fruits, vegetables, seeds, & nuts) has a season.
When I was younger, I remember eating really mealy red delicious apples and deciding that I really don’t like apples. It wasn’t until the puzzle pieces clicked and I realized I just don’t like year old apples that you find at continental breakfasts and oftentimes at the grocery store.
Apple picking season begins in late July and ends in late November, depending on the variety and latitude.
From the USDA AgResearch Magazine:
“Pick an apple off the tree and it’ll last a few weeks before it starts to turn soft and rot. Store an entire harvest under controlled-atmosphere conditions and it’ll last up to 10 months, depending on variety.
To slow the proverbial sands of time, some fruit distributors treat their apple bins with a gaseous compound, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). It extends the fruits’ poststorage quality by blocking ethylene, a colorless gas that naturally regulates ripening and aging.”
Maybe the texture of apples doesn’t bother you, but the other problem with old apples is a lack of nutrients. Antioxidant levels decrease as apples age. According to Jo Robinson, in Eating on the Wild Side, “…you would have to eat two long-stored apples to get the same anticancer benefits as one freshly harvested apple”.
So the next time you’re out shopping, I encourage you to consider the time of the year before buying apples.