Eat the Ugly Apple


I’m a regular at the Farmers Market in my hometown. The vendors know what I like “Granny or Fuji, red or green, heirloom or cherry” and welcome me each Sunday with an update on their specials of the week.

It’s only if I’ve run out of something that I’ll reluctantly buy produce from the grocery store. This happened a few months ago when my brother called last-minute to tell me he was coming to town in two days.

I stock up on everything edible before he arrives. Kevin is younger than I, but taller and bigger and hungrier. Fujis are a favorite, so I bought five at the store to add to my fruit bowl, placing the one Fuji left from my Sunday market trip on top.

Upon his arrival, I received a quick hug before he made a bee-line for the fruit bowl. Rather than grabbing the apple on top (Farmers Market Fuji), he dug for one of the shiny, waxy versions (store Fuji). It was in that moment I realized the most counter-intuitive difference between a tasty, local, organically-grown apple and the grocery store version.

The store version may be attractive but ugly tastes better. A locally grown apple is more nutritious, having more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And it isn’t coated with wax to preserve it during a week of traveling from farm to store. The organic farmer can avoid the wasteful packaging needed when apples are transported longer distances. And shorter travel time means fewer carbon emissions.

Find your own ugly apples at a Farmers Market near you.

Image: wuyeah

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