A reader writes:
As somebody who likes a good apple very much, one thing jumped out at me in this post. "The fact that apple consumption has been on the decline for decades" is most likely because almost every apple in the average supermarket sucks. Red and Golden "Delicious"? How about flavorless and mealy in texture. "Flavorless" is actually a good adjective for almost all of the other types of very pretty apples in the store. Go ahead, next time you're in the produce section, pick up one of each type of apple and sniff it. Do they smell sweet? Are the smells even pleasant? Hell, if your eyes were closed could you even identify the smells as belonging to an apple?
Another is on the same page:
I strongly object to the glib reporting on the quest for unblemished fruit. I'm a scientific illustrator, and before that I spent two years doing research in a tomato genetics lab at UC Berkeley. Unfortunately, as many people have come to realize, efforts in modern American agriculture have focused on the cosmetics of fruits and vegetables, as well as qualities that might make them easier for shipping (square shapes that might make for easier packaging anyone?). This myopic perspective has unfortunately resulted in bland or flavorless fruits and vegetables. As many consumers have started to discover things like wonderfully flavorful heritage tomatoes, they have realized what has been lost. So please, let's not uncritically hail as "perfect" an apple that won't turn brown if you knock it around.
Portland, Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland frequently merges art and science with his photographic experiments involving electricity, fire, and magnetism. One of his ongoing projects involves a series of alternative power sources created using fruit, coins, and even vinegar to power the lights in his long exposure photographs. … I strongly urge you to at least look at his Demonstrations gallery. He’ll also have a few prints in an upcoming group show at Brancolini Grimaldi in London this September.