Totally awesome in every possible way – that is the humble apple.
If you are lucky enough to grow them in your garden, or they are grown in local orchards there is virtually zero carbon footprint when eaten fresh in season. The benefit of the tree taking carbon from the atmosphere to grow virtually compensates for any travel.
And let’s face it, apples are delicious raw, cooked and juiced: snacks, salads, pies, tarts, and cakes, are all enhanced with an apple.
And apples are great for your health. If you listen to the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But you don’t have to rely on that – lots of solid scientific research supports the fact that eating apples brings impressive health benefits. They are a good source of fibre and vitamin C and contain polyphenols (which are linked to antioxidant benefits). Because they contain a lot of fibre and water they are filling, so are a better snack than highly processed foods (like biscuits and bars). And their fibre is soluble, meaning it can help to lower your blood cholesterol which is good for your heart. And your good gut bacteria love the fibre you are feeding them, so they thrive. And there are flavonoids in the skin, which are linked to reducing the risk of a stroke. And several studies have linked eating apples to a lower risk of diabetes, and a higher bone density. Are they a wonder fruit? I think so!
It seems that there is virtually nothing that is not enhanced by regularly eating apples. And they taste lovely too. I feel like eating one right now!
But most of us eat apples that are imported at some point in the year, so should that be a warning to us? Well, it’s not as bad as you might think. Apples are robust, with a long shelf life, and are harvested then transported by ship. Even apples from New Zealand which have been imported into Europe may have a lower carbon footprint than apples harvested locally and kept in cold storage for the summer months. On average you can rekon that an apple – wherever it has been grown - contributes to about 80g of CO2 emissions. That is nothing compared to a bar of chocolate of the same weight (120g) which would contribute about 600g of CO2 and take about 1000ltr of water to produce. I know chocolate is a treat to eat, but it’s packed full of sugar and fat and you know it’s naughty!
Stick to Awesome Apples which are good for the environment and great for your health!