Have You Thanked an Apple Today?

Have a bite!

What item at the grocery store or farmers’ market is tempting and wholesome at the same time?  Well, the humble apple, for one.

What do apples do to keep the doctor away?  Nutritionist Victor Fulgoni found that eating apples improves our circulation and insulin levels.  For instance, there is a 27 percent reduction in risk factors for metabolic syndrome in those whose diets include whole-apple products, including applesauce (my favorite).

The Nobel Prize-winning poet from Chile, Pablo Neruda wrote in his “Oda la manzana” (translated by Ken Krabbenhoft):

You, apple,

are the object

of my praise.

I want to fill

my mouth

with your name.

I want to eat you whole.

Pablo Neruda has the right idea… by eating the flesh and skin of la manzana, we are getting a mix of antioxidants that work synergistically to prevent hardening of the arteries and even cancer.  Its pectin, a soluble fiber, helps lower cholesterol both in the blood and the liver.  An apple a day can also prevent glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.  Combine these health benefits with the many luscious ways to prepare apples and you can see why Johnny Appleseed preached that “fruit is next to religion.”

These fruits were first cultivated by Greeks and Romans in 300 BCE.  Johnny Appleseed, otherwise known as John Chapman, helped spread them around in the early 1800s by planting orchards in the Midwest.  Now we can find apples growing throughout the United States, with almost three million tons of them grown in Washington state alone.

Neruda, in his ode, called for even more abundance of this glorious orb:

I want

a city,

a republic,

a Mississippi River

of apples,

and I want to see

gathered on its banks

the world’s entire population

united and reunited

in the simplest act we know:

I want us to bite into an apple.


Apples for peace!  Thank you, orchards.  Thank you for your fruit–and our health.

Apples ready for eating
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3 thoughts on “Have You Thanked an Apple Today?

  1. I have had many similar thoughts but your poetic justice makes it more magical. I’m very appreciative for nature and all the fruits of the trees.
    Beautiful work Barbara!
    Jackie Debas

    1. Jackie, thank you for reading and commenting on my Of the Earth blog! It’s good to have a place to express oneself now and then. I imagine you tune into the beauty around you and share it with your students as well.

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