What does Organic Apples mean: Something can be considered organic if the soil its grown on has no trace of prohibited substances at least three years before it’s harvested. This means no synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This means produce that is richer, fresher, and better for the environment.
Difference between Organic Apples and Regular Apples: Organic apples have a lot fewer pesticides in them than non-organically grown ones. Conventionally grown apples tend to have very high levels of pesticide residue in them. Even washed apples retain some pesticides – so that won’t do as much good as you think
What Makes Apples Organic?
When you are at the grocery store looking to buy apples, have you ever wondered why some are marked organic and others are not? Of course, one would think all apples are organic since they grow on a tree and are a healthy fruit to eat.
However, that is not the case. All apples are not grown organically and therefore do not earn an organic label. Find out what it means when an apple is labeled organic and why you should always try to eat organic apples or products made with them.
What Does Organic Mean in Produce?
According to the USDA, organic produce is grown while following federal guidelines that direct how organic produce should be grown. These directives can include the soil quality conditions the crop is grown in, how growers control pests and weeds, and the use of additives.
An apple can only be labeled organic if the soil the trees were grown in contains only natural and not synthetic substances. Synthetic substances such as fertilizers and pesticides cannot be applied to the soil for three years before harvest to be considered organic. Farmers must use traditional and natural physical, mechanical, and biological farming methods to grow organic crops.
In conventionally grown apples, a fungicide called diphenylamine is applied after the harvest to prevent skin browning while the apples are stored. However, this chemical can affect the health of your kidneys, bladder, or liver.
Apple storage techniques use calcium chloride to prevent skin browning as well. Finally, ethylene inhibitors are applied to reduce the ethylene gas that hastens the ripening of fruits when in storage. So when these apples become available for purchase, they are not fresh and are doused with chemicals that can adversely affect your health.
Since no natural fungicides are available to apply to organic apples to prevent skin browning while being stored, they are preserved in an atmosphere that apple storage warehouses must carefully control, where precision equipment monitors and sets the optimum atmosphere levels to keep organic apples longer. As a result, when they arrive at the supermarket, they are as fresh as the day they were harvested, with no harmful chemicals.
Chlorpyrifos is a non-organic insecticide that farmers have sprayed on crops since the mid-1960s. Unfortunately, Chlorpyrifos has been linked to nervous system damage or even death when exposed to high doses.
When growing organic apples, releasing beneficial insects that rid the pests attacking the apple tree is one organic method used in pest control. Another method is spraying trees with organically approved insecticides, such as paraffinic oil, kaolin clay, or spin sad, which controls pests without toxicity. Diatomaceous earth and moth traps are other organically approved pest control methods for apple orchards.
How Do Pesticides Work on Apple Orchards?
Pesticides are sprayed on average every 14 days from pre-bloom to harvest, except during the blooming stage. No pesticides are sprayed during the blooming phase to avoid harming pollinators. However, plenty of pests can attack the apple tree, so customizing the proper formulation of pest control to the correct pest is key to pest control in apple orchards.
Reasons Why to Choose Organic Apples and Products Made from Organic Apples:
Of course, the number one reason to choose organic apples or products made from organic apples is that pesticides and additive chemicals applied to non-organic apples are toxic. In some cases, organic wax is applied to apples to replace the wax the apples lost during the washing process. The wax prevents the apple from losing moisture.
If the washing process did not clean all of the pesticide chemicals from the apple, the chemicals could be sealed in when the wax is applied. So when you wash the apples, you won’t be able to get rid of the residual pesticide chemicals left on the apples.
Apples are an AMAZING healthy food to add to your weekly grocery cart, but what to choose? Organic apples or the conventional kind? And does it really matter?
Fresh matters first:
First off, eating a FRESH apple (organic or not) is a fantabulous choice when your only other options are highly processed JUNK food. The fiber and natural vitamins in an apple will go much further than a bag of chips or those darn free cookies in the office. So if what you’ve got is a regular one’ apple when you’re hungry, eat it and enjoy!
Next, choose fewer pesticides:
Did you know that apples are one of the most highly contaminated crops when it comes to pesticides? Now while we don’t preach that everything you eat has to be organic (especially when you are on a budget), we do feel strongly that some foods should most definitely be consumed organic if you can help it. According to the Environmental Working Group, apples are at the very top of the Dirty Dozen list for being a highly contaminated crop, right next to celery and tomatoes, and of course our favorite leafy greens.
How do pesticides work on apple orchards?
Apples are highly contaminated because of the pesticide spraying process. Tractors are driven directly next to the apple trees with a mechanical spraying device that shoots out large even spurts of pesticide to coat the leaves AND the exterior of the fruit. This pesticide adheres to the skin and even seeps into the core because the concave shape near the stem creates a perfect bowl-shaped vessel.
8 reasons why to choose organic apples:
Pesticides are toxic. The sole purpose of any pesticide is to kill living organisms. According to the EWG, the U.S. government and international government groups have proven data that shows a direct link to pesticides and: “brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption, skin/eye/lung irritation, and even ADHD.”
Spraying pesticides is harmful to the farm workers. We don’t often think of the work environment of those that pick our food, but it is something to consider. Forbes magazine published an article last year that said: according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
Organic apples taste better. There is an unbelievable taste difference between organic apples and conventionally-raised apples. This is heavily due to how and when the fruit is harvested during their lifecycle.
Even organic apples are affordable in-season. If you haven’t noticed, fruit is EXPENSIVE and apples (even the organic kind) are by-the-pound, one of the most affordable fruits available during it’s prime season (Fall/Winter).
It’s a healthy, high-fiber, low-sugar fruit. In comparison to many other fruits, apples (especially green and tart versions) are naturally low-in-sugar and high in fiber, which keeps you fuller, longer without the sugar crash.
Apples are great for cooking and baking. A handful of apples diced into a green salad, or a thin slice of apple on an open face sandwich or even adding applesauce to muffins, cakes, or quick bread recipes add tons of moisture, without a ton of calories.
Apples are a Healthy Snack:
Apples make the perfect snack for fall because during cold and flu season we need the nutrients found in apples to support a healthy immune system. Most varieties are also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals — such as quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid.
Since most of our immune system resides in our gut, it’s important to consider that apples contain a good mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps feed good gut bacteria and lower high cholesterol. While insoluble fiber helps keep your intestines clean and healthy.
There’s controversy over the sweetness of apples but they rank low on the glycemic index and their high fiber and polyphenol content prevent the dreaded glucose spikes.
One medium (3-inch diameter) apple offers the following nutritional profile:
Protein: 0.5 grams
Total Fat: 0.3 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 25 grams
Fiber: 4.5 grams
Vitamin C: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
Potassium: 6% of the DV
Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 4% of the DV
Other reasons to choose organic apples and products made from organic apples include:
Organic apples don’t require extra scrubbing when eating, cooking, or baking with them.
Organic apples don’t poison you or the orchard workers.
Organic apples are as fresh as the day they were harvested and taste better.
Organic apples are as affordable as non-organic apples when they are in season.
Conclusion: Researchers found that organically grown apples had more beneficial bacteria and fewer pathogens than commercially grown apples. Those who eat apples can reap many health benefits related to cardiovascular health, such as lower blood pressure, better lipid panels, and less inflammation. So, we should prefer organic apple for our daily consumption.