No Big Apple in the Produce Bin. If Food Value/Taste Are Good, Do We Care how It Looks?

August 5 2010

A Purdue University discovery and scientific explanation of super-sized apples is fascinating (at least to this former food chemist). Some Gala apple trees produce apples that are about 38% heavier than regular Galas, with all the extra size and weight being in the meat, not the core. The reason? The apple's cells aren't splitting, so the number of cells are the same as regular apples -- only larger. Decent science here.

But now onto the subject matter of this post's title.

I'm a bit confused by the horticulturist saying that these Grand Gala apples won't be coming to a grocery store near you because "Consumers like shiny, perfect-looking apples."

Hmm. Is this why those perfect-looking, store-bought tomatoes have no taste…because the marketers truly believe that consumers select their food based solely on beauty? Of course, tomatoes are a different "apple" for comparing - being bred to withstand the tortures of transportation, storage, packaging and bountiful mounds for display.

At least this discovery won't go to waste. The article adds that the apples will gain a following at the orchards where they're grown. To be made into applesauce? Or sold to bakers for pies and other goodies? Personally, I'd like the chance to chomp into a huge, juicy (I'm assuming) Grand Gala.

How about you?

Category: 15 Minutes of Fame
Topic: Food