Step Back Anti-Biotech Propagandists: I Want My Genetically Modified Non-Browning Apples Now!

Nearly every morning I slice and eat an apple with my breakfast. I am particularly fond of Fujis, Galas, and Granny Smiths. Now the New York Times tells me that the some nice Canadian apple growers, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, have developed an improved biotech apple that does not brown when cut. Hooray!

Not so fast say the forces of darkness (or is it brown-ness?)! As the Times reports:

But the U.S. Apple Association, which represents the American apple industry, opposes introduction of the product, as do some other industry organizations. They say that, while they do not believe that the genetic engineering is dangerous, it could undermine the fruit’s image as a healthy and natural food, the one that keeps the doctor away and is as American as, well, apple pie.

“We don’t think it’s in the best interest of the apple industry of the United States to have that product in the marketplace at this time,” said Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents the tree-fruit industry in and around Washington State, which produces about 60 percent of the nation’s apples.

Say what? Who the hell is "We" - I want to try them apples! The would-be growers of these improved apples believe that selling them will expand the market. How? Well, for example, my gym typically has a bowl of whole apples available for the taking, yet very few people actually snag one. As Neal Carter the founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits observes:

A whole apple is “for many people too big a commitment,” he said. “If you had a bowl of apples at a meeting, people wouldn’t take an apple out of the bowl. But if you had a plate of apple slices, everyone would take a slice.”

I believe that he's right. So why do apple industry lobbyists oppose the new improved varieties? It's not only competitive worries, but also fears that self-appointed anti-biotech propagandists will attack the entire industry. And sure enough the Times hauls out anti-biotechie who acts like a talking snake has just offered her a bite:

Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a coalition of groups critical of genetically engineered crops....  said the genetic engineering was “designed to turn the apple into an industrialized product” that could be sold in plastic bags instead of as whole fresh fruit.

And just what nefarious genetic manipulations have the developers used to make this FrankenFruit?

Arctic Apples, which would first be available in the Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties, contain a synthetic gene that sharply reduces production of polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme responsible for the browning.

The gene does not come from another species. Rather, it contains DNA sequences from four of the apple’s own genes that govern production of polyphenol oxidase. Putting an extra copy of a gene into a plant can activate a self-defense mechanism known as RNA interference that shuts down both the extra copy and the endogenous gene.

That's right - no new genes added; not that there's anything inherently wrong with adding new genes. And there's no difference in the nutritional value of the improved varieties versus the conventional ones.

That's all very well about their nutritional value, but if the biotech apples don't taste as good or better than their conventional competitors, then it won't matter if they don't brown. In any case, it should not be up to cowering industry lobbyists or lying anti-biotechies to decide whether the new varieties are a good deal or not; in a free market economy the ultimate arbiters should be consumers. I want my biotech apples now!

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  • Pro Libertate||

    Seriously, how can anyone oppose genetic engineering? Sure, it could go wrong, but so could anything else we do. And the potential is huge.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Seriously, how can anyone oppose genetic engineering?"

    Because Science and Technology are evil, and we must scare people away from these examples of man's ego, and back into the cave where they'll be more compliant an easier to control. Y'know, for their own good.

    Oh, but if anything asks, it's totally the Republicans waging the "War on Science".

  • BakedPenguin||

    Satan gave us knowledge - in an apple!! Coincidence? I don't think so.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd respect them a lot more if they'd say, "Seems like science and technology work better than stupid laws. Let's use more science and technology to solve our problems."

  • Aresen||

    *Exhales maple syrupy breath*

    "So, Americano, you come up here for ze white apples that no go brown.

    Would you like some poutine also?"

  • Randian||

    Poutine is fucking amazing.

  • nicole||

    Despite my Quebec cred displayed in the France thread below, I just can't get on board with the cheese curds. Frites sauce, on the other hand...that is the SHIT.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Poutine is the only thing besides Rush that Canada should be proud of.

  • DEG||

    Poutine is food of the gods.

  • ||

    Because competition is unfair.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The concern is that if it does go wrong, it has the potential to go catastrophically wrong.

    I think that concern is unfounded, but that's what it is.

  • robc||

    It never has before, and we have been genetically engineering for 5000? 10000? years.

  • robc||

    My point being, what technology is that not true for?

    Anything has the "potential" to go catastrophically wrong.

  • ||

    Because everyone read that bible story about the tower of Babel when they were kids.

    Which teaches kids not to get too uppity with their brains and science and shit, or God will smite them down.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nearly every morning I slice and eat an apple with my breakfast.

    Most boring disclosure yet.

  • Ron Bailey||

    FoE: And I don't own any stocks in any apple companies.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    What about knife companies?

  • GILMORE||

    Bailey = shill for Big Apple

    Also = racist against brown

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    it could undermine the fruit’s image as a healthy and natural food, the one that keeps the doctor away and is as American as, well, apple pie.

    Because nothing says "healthy and natural" like turning brown. Luddites all. I'll make them a deal: they eat what they want and I will eat what I want.

  • Randian||

    Running around, doing whatever you please without hurting others? What are you, some kind of adolescent immature brat? Everyone knows that serious Adults want to tell other people what to do.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    He just wants the joint to be more like Somalia.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If you had a bowl of apples at a meeting, people wouldn’t take an apple out of the bowl. But if you had a plate of apple slices, everyone would take a slice.

    I figured it out. Cherry-sized apples. They need to splice those genes together or whatever they do and produce smaller apples.

    And Obamacare, not apples, is what's going to keep away doctors.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Cherry sized apples with no core or seeds would be awesome.

  • $park¥||

    Chapples would be an awesome new fruit. The flavor would be amazing and having a simple pit to deal with instead of a nasty core would make it that much easier to eat. FoE, you're a genius man, no matter what Epi says.

  • nicole||

    I want this. But I don't want it to be called a "chapple."

  • SFC B||

    an apply?

  • ||

    HE'S NOT A GENIUS. He's an idiot savant.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I accept your apology.

  • IceTrey||

    They have those. They are called crabapples.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, except they still have cores. But if you pickle them, the core becomes edible.

  • ||

    Once Upon a Time, circa 1880s: Look, we, the Candlemakers Trade Union, don't neccessarily think Edison's new lighbulb is a bad thing, we just think it's bad for the image of candlemakers who work tirelessly to produce wax candles that won't last as long as as these new lightbulbs. Plus, think of all the jobs it will render obsolete!

  • IceTrey||

    The lightbulb replaced gas light not candles.

  • Translucent Chum||

    Has any genetically modified crop ever been proven to actually be dangerous?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, there were those killer tomatoes.

  • Translucent Chum||

    I forgot! Good things the clowns in those ice cream trucks saved us.

  • Ron Bailey||

    TC: No dangers to human health have been identified in any of the current commercial versions.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I notice you're reading the the comments, but still not denying that you're a shill for Big Knife.

  • ||

    Full disclosure: Ron Bailey still uses the exact set of Ginsu knives that he was showing 25 years ago.

    (Full disclosure: if my mom was more drugged up when I was born, my dad was going to name me Ginsu)

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, you can slice a can in half with one of those knives, then slice a tomato perfectly. The blades were handcrafted by samurai swordsmiths.

  • GILMORE||

    If you order now you'll also receive this full set of paring knives, a $50 value!

    My Ginsu knives are so sharp I can genetically modify apples by hand

  • Pro Libertate||

    I power my home by splitting atoms with my Ginsu. It's that sharp.

  • GILMORE||

    The Higgs-Boson particle was discovered while attempting to make Ginsu knives even slightly sharper

  • Aresen||

    Plus, you can see you way at night by the blue glow emitted by you body.

  • Robert||

    That was in Maakies.

  • SKR||

    Iirc, there has been one case of allergic reaction to a gmo corn variety that accidentally got into a processing plant for chips even though the corn was only supposed to be used for animal feedstock.

  • ||

    You do not recall correctly.

  • GILMORE||

    These aren't the droids youre looking for

  • SKR||

    Good to know

  • GILMORE||

    These aren't the droids you're looking for

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure that was the 'Alar' of GM foods:
    "Starlink corn was successfully recalled, caused no allergies"
    http://academicsreview.org/rev.....-starlink/

  • Ron Bailey||

    SKR: Absolutely not true - CDC investigated all of the alleged cases and found not one person who showed an allergic response to the version of bt in the Starlink corn. See:
    32. Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Environmental Health, “Investigation of Human Health Effects Associated with Potential Exposure to Genetically Modified Corn,” June 11, 2001, www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehhe/Cry9cReport/cry9 creport.pdf.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I know of many business that have been harmed by GM foods at other businesses.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Were they pelted by GMO tomatoes?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If by "GMO tomatoes" you mean "pesticide and fertilizer costs that its competitors don't bear", then yes.

  • ||

    You mean, they're harmed because their competitors don't have to use pesticides and fertilizer?

    My god, maybe we should forbid their competitors from using tractors to even the scales. The only "fair" market place is one where all competitors make the same amount of money.

  • ||

    Star Corn can cause an allergic reaction in some humans.

    Of course the corn was designed for feed stock and ethanol production and is prohibited for sale for human consumption.

  • ||

    Nevermind.

    28 people reported apparent allergic reactions related to eating corn products that may have contained the Starlink protein. However, the US Centers for Disease Control studied the blood of these individuals and concluded there was no evidence the reactions these people experienced were associated with hypersensitivity to the Starlink Bt protein.[11]

    So no. It was not proven to be dangerous.

  • Keith3D||

    "However, the US Centers for Disease Control studied the blood of these individuals..."

    Ghoulish. So I'm no longer concerned about the corn, but I am scared of the CDC.

  • ||

    Not to mention that some people being allergic does not make them dangerous any more than cat hair is dangerous.

  • ||

    Not to mention that some people being allergic does not make them dangerous any more than cat hair is dangerous.

    Don't turn me into a fanatical environmentalist.

    Under your claims you would be ok with food producers putting cat dander in the food supply and not tell anyone about it.

    I am allergic to cats by the way...and if I ate enough cat dander I would end up in the hospital.

  • ||

    So the fuck what? That doesn't make it dangerous, it makes improper labeling dangerous. The fact that some people are allergic to something doesn't make the allergen dangerous. Allergies are the body's immune system fucking up and giving a false positive.

  • ||

    Allergies are the body's immune system fucking up and giving a false positive.

    Cancer is just the bodies immune system fucking up and giving a false negative.

  • ||

    Again so? The fact that cancer is dangerous if you get it doesn't make human cells dangerous.

  • ||

    So malaria is not the cause of death by fever and dehydration but in fact it is the bodies response to the virus that kills....

    You are a funny guy.

  • ||

    No your body fighting a disease can lead to negative symptoms. Allergies are where your body fights a disease that doesn't exist. It is an important distinction here because the fact that some people are allergic to something doesn't make that thing dangerous. It doesn't mean that that people shouldn't eat that product, it means people with an allergy shouldn't. In your cat hair stuffed food analogy the problem is the negligence and/or fraud of the food producer not the cat hair. Similarly the problem with the corn if it had turned out to be an allergen to some people is that the negligently mixed it in.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I can't eat apple skins because they often have tree pollen in them, which I am allergic to. I have to either cook the apple skins (which denatures the protein) or simply skin the apple. Does that make apple skins dangerous?

  • ||

    The lemon juice cure is a poor one. Way to go, Okanagan growers.

  • ||

    FINALLY, a Friday afternoon apple thread! I'm a Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Pink Lady guy myself.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You sicken me.

  • ||

    Gala all the way, you heathen. It is a good thing you have good taste in beer.

  • R C Dean||

    Galas, Fujis, and the occasional Granny Smith.

    I applaud Carbon Ron's taste in apples.

  • Coeus||

    Okay, that one's got to stick.

  • ||

    It certainly is, considering I consume way more beer than apples.

  • Sevo||

    Macintosh only, heathens!

  • ||

    I'm not familiar with that brewery.

  • GILMORE||

    I second macintosh (east coast baby)

    The rest of you are philistines

  • Zeb||

    THat's my favorite as well. One of the few really old varieties that is still common. I like the fine texture and tartness.

  • ||

    I like the green ones more than the red ones. Red Delicious? More like "Red waxy skin and mild taste"

  • DaveAnthony||

    Red Delicious = Red Disgusting. I don't like my fruit to be MEALY.

  • ||

    You clearly didn't grow up next to an orchard like me. If your apple is mealy, IT IS FUCKING OLD.

    Well, that was fun. Incredibly rare lighting storms in Seattle knock out our power just long enough to fuck the router.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Well the Red Apples they put in public school lunches were always mealy. I am not surprised by the reason...

  • Pro Libertate||

    They must have decent apples in Seattle, being in Washington and all. I don't recall partaking while I was there, though I did eat a lot of salmon. Salmon is like sourdough up there--it's in everything.

  • ||

    Apples in stores are a total crap shoot, so I don't buy them. You have to go orchard or go home, because if the apples aren't fresh as shit, they can suck. But super fresh apples are like the greatest thing ever.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They are awesome. As are fresh peaches.

  • ||

    Actually, I read an article saying that basically apples are initially bred (if that's the right word) for flavor, but once they're released to the big orchards they focus more on appearance. As such, when new apples are released they taste really good until the orchards fuck them up, at which point you should move on to newer varieties of apples. Supposedly red delicious apples actually tasted good once upon a time.

  • ||

    I grew up next to a small, family-owned orchard. Their apples were fucking divine, as were all their other fruit, but their apples were just incredible. They made an unpasteurized cider too that was so good I can't stand any other. And it is now illegal in CT. So I will never have it again.

  • ||

    It's seriously fucking ILLEGAL to sell unpasteurized cider? I'd say that's unbelievable, but anybody who hangs out around here knows it's not. Still, that blows... especially for somebody like me who likes to make hard cider (though you can still ferment heat-pasteurized cider, so I guess it's not the end of the world, but still...).

  • ||

    I used to put a jug on top of the fridge and let it go hard. It was good.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    put a jug on top of the fridge and let it go hard

    Is that a euphemism ?

  • Aresen||

    ????

    Pasteurize cider?

    Why in hell would ANY alcoholic beverage need to be pasteurized?

    Seriously - alcohol (usually methanol, but ethanol can be used just as well) was once used to sterilize medical instruments, due to its antibiotic properties. Pasteurizing an alcoholic beverage is like laying asphalt over brickwork.

  • Zeb||

    It's not illegal everywhere. But where I am, only the producers can sell it. I don't know that I would buy it from someone else in any case.

  • Zeb||

    Also, americans tend to call slightly germented apple squeezings with negligible alcohol content "cider" and alcoholic cider "hard cider".

  • Pro Libertate||

    I had some insanely good, locally produced apple cider (nonpasteurized) in Minnesota.

  • ||

    there's a stand in enumclaw (well , near it) right on black diamond enumclaw hwy that sells a GREAT cider. perfect unpasteurized goodness.

  • ||

    Their apples were fucking divine, as were all their other fruit, but their apples were just incredible.

    Yeah the best apples I have ever had have always been ones I picked myself from a tree.

  • ||

    Actually, I read an article saying that basically apples are initially bred (if that's the right word) for flavor, but once they're released to the big orchards they focus more on appearance. As such, when new apples are released they taste really good until the orchards fuck them up, at which point you should move on to newer varieties of apples. Supposedly red delicious apples actually tasted good once upon a time.

    This is all bullshit.

    Apples can be stored up to a year. This can mess em up...especially if they have been warmed the cooled then warmed again.

    They also ripen after they are picked. So they are picked as stored before they are fully ripe.

    Try different stuff like letting them sit on your dinner table for a day or two before eating...or if they have been sitting on the shelf in the supermarket it might be a bad idea to put em into the fridge.

  • Zeb||

    The interesting thing about apples is that fruit producing trees are really never grown from seed, so there is very little breeding of apples at orchards that aren't specifically trying to develop new varieties. An apple grown from seed is very unlikely to be palatable or attractive in appearance. All apple trees in orchards are grafted from existing trees of the desired variety.
    So I am not sure how what you describe could happen.

  • Terr||

    The Red Delicious an abomination of an apple.

  • ||

    It lasts long and ships well.

    Which meant for the past 100 years you could get apples to everyone all over the county cheaply.

    Now there is new technology to get other varieties to people cheaply.

    It is like calling the covered wagon an abomination.

  • Robert||

    Red Delicious are really good if you like astringent skin, not so good if you don't.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Good choices. I had some surprisingly good apples from Georgia or North/South Carolina last year. I guess they're of varieties that don't travel well, which is why they don't have a wide range.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I prefer my apples deep dish.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You mean pie? My wife and daughter have been reading some kids' book about making apple pies, so I think we're making one this weekend. Mmmmmm, apple pie with ice cream.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    No. I mean my apples. What are you, some sort of thin crust apple loving freak?

  • ||

    SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Excellent.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Tried a Pink Lady for the first time today - pretty good. Usually I eat Gala and Honeycrisp. Once in while Granny Smiths. But Pink Lady just seemed to me to be too feminine of name for an apple. Apples are manly fruits. They can be gay manly fruits but never feminine.

  • ||

    Actually, my 5-year-old daughter is the one who suggested buying a few Pink Lady apples. That being said, I think there's a very masculine subtext to eating Pink Ladies.

  • ||

    Prefer Golden Delicious myself.

  • ||

    +1, I prefer the yellow varieties the best

  • GILMORE||

    Yellow apples are just red apples with vitiligo. You people are disgusting.

  • nicole||

    Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.

  • Translucent Chum||

    +2.

  • Terr||

    Right there with ya on the Pink Lady and Honeycrisp.

  • Banjos||

    We are now enemies.

  • Ted S.||

    I didn't realize how many Pink Lady fans we had here.

  • DaveAnthony||

    I don't have a problem with the genetic engineering, but does the brown apple taste any different? If not, shouldn't we just get over the appearance?

    Also, when are we gonna have Charlottesville Reason meetup?

  • Ron Bailey||

    DA: I guess we two could "meetup" at the bar at the Downtown Grill sometime.

  • DaveAnthony||

    I'm always down for grilled meat. There are a lot of restaurants in town I still haven't been to (have only been in CVille since last year after finally escaping NoVA).

  • R C Dean||

    Feel free to eat all the skanky, mushy brown apples you want.

    I will be enjoying my crisp, firm, FrankenApples.

    See, everybody wins!

    The trade association guy is being remarkably short-sighted. If the eco-luddites mount an attack on his industry, well, shoot, that sounds like the dues increase he's been dreaming of, to fund the pushback.

  • DaveAnthony||

    I'm holding out for the glow-in-the dark franken-apples. I like to eat my apples at night.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, but even if you don't have to turn on the lights and wake everybody up, the crunch of crisp Franken-apples will wake them.

  • ||

    In all fairness the apple industry has earned the right to be gun shy.

    I grew up in apple growing country and I distinctly remember the ALAR scares of the 80s

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alar

    This is not their first rodeo.

  • ||

    pj orourke wrote a great piece on meryl streep and the ridiculous alar panic

  • ||

    Wonderful...and it did not do shit for the apple industry.

  • Zeb||

    Do the modified apples not get soft too? Or is it just brown? In any case, the softness comes much later than the brown.
    Not that I am in any way opposed to GM apples.

  • Robert||

    The browning is accompanied by softening. It's autolysis. Bananas y potatoes do it too, just not nearly as fast.

  • ||

    Unless it's oozing high fructose corn syrup, I don't want any.

  • R C Dean||

    Sounds like another genetic engineering challenge!

  • Translucent Chum||

    One caramel infused Granny Smith, please.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I also accept it wearing a deep fried coat.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Alright here is what we're gonna do -- soak it in a corn-syrup cinnamon marinade, dip it batter, deep fry it, and cover it in powdered sugar. Portable Apple Pie!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I bet that makes someone rich.

  • Pro Libertate||

    My great aunt used to make fried pies. Picture a calzone. But it's a pie.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually it should be wrapped in bacon and baked.

    No seriously, take an apple cut into 6ths or 8ths (whichever size suits you better) sprinkle with a brown sugar and cinamon mix, wrap the entire thing in thick sliced bacon then sprinkle a little more brown sugar and bake till the bacon is cooked.

    Best thing I ever ate.

  • BCG||

    I'm going to have to try that. Sounds divine. I truly believe bacon makes everything better.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It makes potato salad better. Especially if it's bacon, bacon grease, and vinegar.

  • Robert||

    I've made various potato salads (or at least salads with a plurality of potato), and lately I've found a most excellent ingredient for otherwise fairly plain y simple potato salads: blue cheese.

    Hey, I just realized that although we succumb here to the usual Internet discussion tendency of everything devolving to recipes, we don't have the usual parallel track of devolution of discussions onto the subject of cats. Meow?

  • ||

    Would you take one that was bubblegum flavored, cause they have those now.

  • Rasilio||

    Not to mention grape flavored

    http://www.grapplefruits.com/

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Grapples are fucking awesome.

    Smells and tastes like grape, with a gentle apple aftertaste and texture.

  • ||

    Anti-GMO people are tiresome.

  • ||

    they are also smug and religious in their beliefs much like most global warming advocates (well, anti-global warming advocates).

    fwiw, i have no opinion of AGW. i simply DON'T KNOW one way or the other. but the incredibly smug, religious, holier than thou attitude of the fierce advocates gives me pause, because generally speaking, when i see such smugness attached to a belief, it's a suspect belief

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "They say that, while they do not believe that the genetic engineering is dangerous, it could undermine the fruit’s image as a healthy and natural food, the one that keeps the doctor away and is as American as, well, apple pie."

    . . . seriously? THIS is what the state of scientific qadvancement in this country has devolved to?

    We don't adopt breakthrough advancements in food tech that we know to be compliant with reasonable safety standards, all because we're worried about scaring the Luddites and Hippies?!

  • ||

    liberals, who CLAIM to be science based, become incredible luddites when it comes to food.

    a perfect example is cattle that are given hormones

    there is AMPLE evidence that hormones negatively affect milk (see: IGF) (or positively affects milk, if you want more IGF. it certainly helps muscle growth).

    but zero... ZERO evidence that hormones (e.g. trenbolone, etc.) negatively affect meat. ZERO. i have challenged these people to show one peer reviewed study that cattle implants can negatively affect meat and have never had one response

    similarly, you will read over and over again, that organics are "healthier" and again , there is ZERO evidence that there is any statistically significant HEALTH benefit to organics. there are arguably other benefits, but the foods themselves have not been shown to have any nutritional benefit vs. non-organics and CERTAINLY not ones that justify the obscene price differential.

    libs can be just as anti-science as creationist conservatives are, when it comes to their pet issues

  • Auric Demonocles||

    My father switched from a conventional to organic dairy farm when I was 13. All that really happened is the cows got sicker when we couldn't give them antibiotics.

  • Zeb||

    I'd like to see something like semi-organic dairy. Give the cows antibiotics or whatever when thery are sick and really need them, but otherwise keep thinks natural. Seems like a good compromise.

  • ||

    There's really no evidence that hormones negatively affect milk. IGF in your stomach is not the same thing as IGF in your bloodstream. Your body digests it like any other protein. It's not the kind of thing that just goes directly from your intestines to your bloodstream.

  • ||

    living in WA state, which is known for its apples, i've been dissapointed

    imo, the best eating (vs. baking etc.) apple is the mcintosh. BY FAR

    super crisp, tart, etc.

    WA doesn't have real mcintoshes. we don't have the climate. i have found one place that sells a "WA mcintosh" and it's nothing like the real (new england ) thing. apparently, the lack of cool nights affects the apple such that it doesn't get that great tart snap.

    if we could genetically modify a mcintosh to grow in WA i would happily buy them (and grow them).

    i find most apples too sweet, bland and boring compared to the epic mcintosh

  • ||

    The only apples I can eat raw are Macintoshes, precisely because they're very soft and not at all crisp. So I dunno where yours are coming from.

  • ||

    the macs i got in rhode island were always very crisp.

    the WA macs are not, and are also not tart. imo, they are not macs at all, but a weak fascimile.

    are you eating new england mcintoshes?

  • Sevo||

    Dunphy (the real one)|7.13.12 @ 3:43PM|#
    "the macs i got in rhode island were always very crisp.
    the WA macs are not, and are also not tart. imo, they are not macs at all, but a weak fascimile.
    are you eating new england mcintoshes?"

    When I was a yute, I lived on an orchard in the mid-west. The farmer (?) told me the Macs needed a really cold winter for crispness and tartness.

  • ||

    exactly. that's why the WA macs SUCK

  • ||

    The farmer (?) told me the Macs needed a really cold winter for crispness and tartness.

    You mean cold fall. In the winter the fruit has already been picked.

  • Zeb||

    WHen they are fresh and good, they are crisp and tart. Not too hard, but not squishy at all. THat's why they are so great; perfect balance of everything.

  • Aresen||

    I like Macs, Spartans and Granny Smiths.

    Granny Smiths are best eaten with a block of rich creamy cheddar that you can slice of a chunk to go with each bite of the apple.

  • Sevo||

    "the best eating (vs. baking etc.) apple is the mcintosh. BY FAR"

    Absofingtutely!

  • ||

    apparently, the lack of cool nights affects the apple such that it doesn't get that great tart snap.

    Eastern Washington is colder then New England. Perhaps you are thinking of the midwest...or the fact that not only are the nights cold in eastern Washington but in October and November the days are cold as well.

  • ||

    i'm just repeating what the produce stand lady told me, that it wasn't cold enough here at night to get that tart snap.

    i just know i've gotten WA macs three times and every time they were weak (not tart), mushy, and just nothing like the crisp new england mcintosh i get every time i go back east.

    if it's not a climate difference, i don't know what else it could be.

  • ||

    if it's not a climate difference, i don't know what else it could be.

    Storage...you could be eating 2 year old apples.

    Be sure you are eating in season (do you go to new England during a particular part of the year?)

    And be sure that fruit stand you are at is actually growing macs....they could have simply bought them from a fruit shed which has been storing them in a CA facility.

    Anyway it probably is climate...only that the climate difference is different or incomplete to what was described to you.

  • ||

    in brief, my understanding is that new england gets nice crisp cold nights in the fall that are not matched in WA. that, this is the difference in taste and texture.

    again, i have no idea if that is correct, i just know that every time i bought WA macs they sucked, and every time i bought them in RI, they were great

  • SKR||

    This would be a boon for processors. Think of all the mcdonalds apple pies and whatnot. Now imagine if they could take an entire process out of the production line. No more citric acid bath means lower water use, and lower waste water disposal costs.

  • ||

    It's unfortunate I can't eat raw apples (fingernails on a chalkboard), cause I'd love to try them things!

  • ||

    Why can't you eat raw apples?

  • Translucent Chum||

    I apologize to KK, but I picture Al Bundy pouring beer onto a piece of bread. "Nothing like cold beer on a hot night!"

  • GILMORE||

    Episiarch|7.13.12 @ 3:54PM|#
    Why can't you eat raw apples?

    Dude, have a little sensitivity. Some people are Jewish.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Probably for the same reason I can't: allergic reaction to tree pollen on the skin of the apple. Removing the skins or cooking it destroys the protein in the pollen that is responsible.

  • Translucent Chum||

    Is there any way they can fiddle with this to keep me from aging?

  • Aresen||

    Do you turn brown when you are sliced?

  • Translucent Chum||

    Let's get Bailey's Ginsus and find out!

  • T||

    Almost everything else does, Aresen, so why wouldn't he? Oxidation is a bitch.

  • Aresen||

    Blood from veins (not arteries) turns brighter red when exposed to air.

  • GILMORE||

    Translucent Chum|7.13.12 @ 3:43PM|#
    Is there any way they can fiddle with this to keep me from aging?

    Well, they DID actually develop an Apple of Immortality, but they found it had an aftertaste like Red Bull, and scrapped the project.

  • ||

    It's not only competitive worries

    I doubt it is competitive worries.

    And you are underestimating the fear factor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alar

    This happened and the apple industry was devastated.

    Instead of calling the apple industry a bunch of cronies who hold unfounded fears perhaps you should look at the powerful left wing ecofreaks who loom large over it.

  • ||

    It's both. It's the typical Baptist/Bootlegger combo you'll find behind all anti-competitive movements.

  • ||

    It's both. It's the typical Baptist/Bootlegger combo you'll find behind all anti-competitive movements.

    I live in Washington state in the heart of apple county. I deal with fruit growers everyday. Summerland BC where arctic apples were developed is just north of me.

    I can assure you you do not know jack shit about the apple industry here and you are talking out of your ass.

  • ||

    Horseshit.

    “We don’t think it’s in the best interest of the apple industry of the United States to have that product in the marketplace at this time,” said Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents the tree-fruit industry in and around Washington State, which produces about 60 percent of the nation’s apples.

    That is anti-competitive claptrap, but nice appeal to authority.

  • ||

    Genius, Look at a map of BC Canada, then look at a map of Eastern Washington. Notice the difference?

    There is no competition from Canada. Those apples would be grown in the US and they would be the holy grail of the industry because it would increase consumption.

    It is fear and fear alone that is preventing this.

  • ||

    Nobody ever said that anti-competitive types were rational.

    I get it, the apple industry is personal to you. It happens to all of us.

  • Aresen||

    I remember the agar scare.

    I don't blame the ecofreaks - they are predictable luddites and would fight against a cure for cancer because it would remove a check on human population.

    Instead I blame the media who play flugelmen to every hyped scare story and the innumerate helicopter parents who have no idea how to assess relative risk.

  • ||

    and the public knows this. it's why when you look at polling data, journalists consistenly rank very low in terms of public respect and trust. as do lawyers.

    cops, firefighters, and teachers tend to rank high

  • Aresen||

    But the public still fall for every scare story that appears in the MSM, whether it's about saccharin or GMO or the perils of vaccination.

  • Tulpa the White||

    cops, firefighters, and teachers tend to rank high

    Not helping your "Americans aren't idiots" case there, feller.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Not helping your "Americans aren't idiots" case there, feller.

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    media vs ecofreaks...

    You are making a distinction without a difference.

  • Aresen||

    There is a distinction:

    The ecofreaks genuinely hate humanity.

    The media are just out to sell a product and know that scare stories sell better than reporting that X raises your chance of dying from a cancer from one in ten million to two in ten million (= reported as "Using X Doubles Incidence of Cuticle Cancer.")

  • ||

    "...said the genetic engineering was “designed to turn the apple into an industrialized product” that could be sold in plastic bags instead of as whole fresh fruit."

    As Old Mexican once pointed out, what these types hate is commoditization. their concerns have nothing to do with gaia, pollution, the environment etc....they just hate human success.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Anything that can be sold to others for a profit is bad.

  • Russell Seitz ||

    Fear not, Ron, the arsenal of democracy is busy developing the Browning Automatic Apple

  • GILMORE||

    I am waiting for test-tube apples to be developed which will be bred for combat, released into the wild, and hunted for sport.

    Seedless of course.

  • SKR||

    Once I get my biotech lab up and running, I will commence work on developing my Frankenagave hordes. They'll easily take out some pansy ass Frankenapple.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, I feel like such a pig when I eat an apple from a fruit bowl. But sometimes I eat 2.

    I like McIntoshes best, but plenty of others. What fruit other than a McIntosh apple can be simultaneously so crunchy and soooo juicy? And fortunately here in NYC I'm squarely in McIntosh country. But it's mulberries I wind up picking off the trees, because those are treated as nuisances by their owners.

    I drew the ire of the co-moderator (with Bill Anderson) of Fidonet echo Liberty Northwest when I questioned why he, living in Idaho, would bother traveling to B.C. to buy a box of apples to preserve and make pie from. I would've thought that whole region would be so apple-drenched that nobody would bother to travel a long way within it to buy particular apples (must've been a damn good orchard), let alone to cook y preserve them. But you'd've thought I was questioning his sanity rather than gaping in wonderment at his apple gourmet-hood.

  • Robert||

    Ya know, just when I'm losing weight under the influence of tramadol, a thread here gives me an appetite I don't need, what with all the apples and cheese and pies and ice cream.

    Know what's really good with apples, as good as Cheddar cheese? Bits of dark chocolate. Alternating bites of Golden Delicious or McIntosh and dark chocolate. Hershey's fine, don't know if fancier chocolate's worth it with apples. Small amounts of dark chocolate go good with tangerines and other fruits too, but apples -- particularly those varieties -- best.

  • ||

    [...]
    "Do we have any apples left?" Skope asked. "I could really go for one right now."

    Kenny looked through the fridges fruit drawer. "We have pear flavored apples, cherry flavored apples, and orange flavored apples. Oh, and I think there's one lemon flavored apple." He reported.

    "What about apple flavored apples? The real ones?"

    "Um, we're out. Sorry." Kenny dug some more, and pulled out the remains of an apple of some form. "Looks like those ass-holes ate them all."

    "No apple flavored apples? Seriously?"

    Kenny checked for the third time. "Yup. All gone. We're just left with the synth flavors."

    Skope slammed his fist on the table, making the spoon that was on the other end of it launch onto the floor. "Damn, I hate GMO foods! You can never have normal flavored anything these days."

    "It is indeed a tragedy that so many food products are genetically engineered," Nome agreed. "I attempt to avoid genetically modified foods whenever I can, but sometimes there is little choice in the matter."
    [...]

    Matchmaking Wars: Stage 2: 24 – A Matter Of Trust

  • RobM||

    ...was just reading fanfic.

    It is a sign!

  • Sevo||

    joshua corning|7.13.12 @ 4:28PM|#
    The farmer (?) told me the Macs needed a really cold winter for crispness and tartness.
    "You mean cold fall. In the winter the fruit has already been picked."

    My understanding was the next year's crop needed the cold winter preceding the spring blossoms.

  • ||

    Aren't all you people supposed to be on low-carb paelo diets?

    What the fuck are you doing eating apples?

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