CONSUMER: Now in Season: Apples (Yes, Apples! Here’s Why.)
Fishers, N.Y. – Now in season: Apples! Yes, apples. While most of us think about apples only in the fall, thanks to a larger-than-usual harvest last fall New York state apple growers have plenty of apples in stock.
That’s great news for hungry New Yorkers, reports the state’s apple association.
“This time of year, in late winter, it can be hard to find good-tasting fresh fruit of any kind,” says New York Apple Association President Jim Allen. “You can still count on New York state apples!”
Consumers can find ample supplies of many varieties of New York state apples on the market now, though some early-season varieties may be out of stock. While New York’s 2014 harvest was 11 percent smaller than 2013’s near-record crop, the state’s apple production has generally been increasing.
Why are more apples in New York state today? Allen quotes Bob Dylan, “the times they are a’changin’.” New York growers have increased plantings to deliver more of the new varieties and old favorites that consumers love. That includes Honeycrisp and Gala, as well as New York state standards such as Empire and Cortland. The state now has 25 percent more trees than just a few years ago, Allen reports.
Apple packers have also invested in packing and storage technology that helps maintain just-picked fruit flavor and quality. For example, controlled-atmosphere storage is like suspended animation for apples; internal defect sorting is like x-ray vision.
“As a result, we can better deliver on our commitment to get our apples to consumers fresher and faster than anywhere else,” says Allen.
To help consumers rethink apples as more than a fall food, NYAA is now engaging in consumer outreach throughout the year. In January, the association advocated resolving to eat two apples a day, for better health. This month, NYAA’s Consulting Dietitian Linda Quinn is tying into the dietetics industry’s National Nutrition Month celebration. The 2015 theme, “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle,” is well suited for apples.
“Support your local apple grower, and buy some New York state apples today!” shilled NYAA’s Allen.
Sidebar: Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle, for National Nutrition Month
NYAA Consulting Dietitian Linda Quinn, MS, RD, CDN is joining her colleagues to help celebrate National Nutrition Month this March.
“The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” – perfect for apples!” says Quinn.
Quinn advises consumers to bite into their own healthy lifestyle by:
- Consuming fewer calories – Eat more fruits and vegetables, such as apples. They are nutrient dense and low calorie.
- Making informed food choices – Read labels and ingredient statements. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it! (Apples are so simple they don’t even need a label.)
- Getting daily exercise – Small steps really do make a difference! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the back of the parking lot, go talk to your work colleague instead of emailing.
“Apples fit into every food plan because they are fresh, natural and naturally high in nutrition,” says Quinn. “There is more solid research on the benefits of apples than most any other fruit.”
To learn more about National Nutrition Month and apple nutrition, visit the NYAA website at www.nyapplecountry.com/nutrition. The NYAA website also includes an extensive recipe section.
Note to editors:
• NYAA’s Quinn is available to comment on apple health and nutrition by telephone, Skype or email. Contact her directly to schedule, by phone at (315) 440-0791 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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