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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Sep 1, 2009

If you haven’t gotten to your calendar yet today, make sure to flip or rip the August page as today ushers in September.

Did you know the ninth month of the year is National Apple Month? Is it because tradition dictates students present their teachers with apples on the first day of school? Perhaps it is because this is the season for the apple to shine.

Due to nature and work in the agricultural labs, the apple is the most varied food known. At last count, there were 7,500 varieties of apples. Of that total, American producers handle 2,500 varieties and each kind has its own set of properties for looks, crunch, taste and uses. The top apple producing states include Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.

The largest apple crop was recorded in 1998 when U.S. apple growers harvested 277.3 million cartons. According to 2005 statistics, orchards in the U.S. covered 379,000 acres and were tended by 7,500 apple growers. Our country ranks second in terms of apple production. China claims the top spot. Rounding out the top five are Turkey, Poland and Italy.

Have you heard of the term “upper crust?” There is a historical reason for the why and how of this sentiment.

During colonial times, money was tight and cooking supplies were not readily available. Cooks made it a habit of scrimping on ingredients to save some money. Like today, apple pie was a favorite choice. Some cooks saved on lard and flour by choosing to make bottom-only crust pies. More affluent households could afford both crusts, so those families became known as “the upper crust.”

When eating an apple out of hand, refrain from peeling the fruit. You will be doing your health a great big favor by biting into the whole fruit. That peeling includes two-thirds of the fiber and many antioxidants.

Celebrate the advent of autumn by paying tribute to your favorite kind of apple. Crunch your way to good health!