The old saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ has been drilled into us since we were kids. We all know apples are good for us, but according to Forbes, organic apples could have the greatest impact on agriculture, the environment and our health, all at once. Below are five reasons why.
1. The average conventionally grown apple has more pesticide residue on it than any other fruit or vegetable. According to the Environmental Working Group‘s analysis of USDA data, pesticides showed up on 98% of the more than 700 (washed) apple samples tested. The average amount of pesticides found on those apples numbered around 48. That’s 48 different kinds of pesticides on one little apple!
2. We are not quite sure what some of those pesticides do to humans or the environment. Like most conventional fruits and veggies, apples are sprayed with pesticides for a variety of reasons. While most pesticides are safe for human consumption, some are questionable. There’s also the need to consider what happens to the soil, local animals, and ground water that is affected by pesticide spray. A lot of that information is still unknown.
3. Farm owners and workers like to live and work in safe environments too. We need to consider the people who are working the farms, picking our fruit, and are exposed to pesticides and other chemicals that are sprayed on conventional apples. There’s also the concern of ‘pesticide drift’ to nearby communities.
4. Apples are one of the country’s favorite fruits – and eating more organic apples could immediately impact farming. Apples are the third most popular fruit in the US (right behind oranges and grapes). They can be grown in all 50 states and generate $2.2 billion a year. Right now, organic apple orchards account for only 6% of the total apple acreage in the country. However, the demand for organic apples is increasing and with apples being able to be grown in each state, there is great opportunity for apples to come from more local farmers.
5. Organic apples are inexpensive, delicious, and make for a great snack. Next time you are craving something sweet, put aside that unhealthy treat and pick up a delicious organic apple instead. Apples are not only filling but probably cheaper than anything you would get from a vending machine.