By Jacob Darling
In this installment of Brain Candy I’m going to talking about one of my favorite things. Apples! Did you know that there are at least five wild apple trees on campus? Over the past week I’ve taken time between classes to roam the campus and sample quite a few of them. And they are delicious!
Americans consume on average about 45.5 pounds of apples every year, with nationwide consumption estimated at around 2.43 million pounds — enough apples to form a line all the way from Portland to St. Louis! That’s the fourth highest rate of apple consumption in the world, just behind Turkey with 2.49 million pounds. The European Union comes in second with an annual consumption rate of 6.3 million pounds, and the country that eats the most apples is China, with a whopping 38 million pounds of apples consumed there every year.
Apples are one of the most ubiquitous fruits in history. Originating in a small area near present-day Kazakhstan, they quickly spread to become one of the most widely distributed commodities on the planet. Two-thousand five hundred different varieties of apple are grown in the United States alone, with around 7,500 varieties grown world wide.
Last week while wandering the campus in search of these tasty snacks, I found five apple trees on various spots around the school. Each one produced apples with their own unique flavor. Some were sweet and juicy; another had apples that were lip-smackingly sour. The average semi-dwarf apple tree in North America produces about 10 bushels a season. At 40 pounds a bushel, that’s about 400 pounds of apples. So that means that the five trees on campus produce nearly 2,000 pounds of apples a season! Some food for thought the next time you want a healthy snack between classes.