Sweetness Beyond Measure: Red Saccharine Orbs

In the Garden of Eden

American settlers viewed the insertion of apples to the United States from the old world (originally the mountains in Kazakhstan) as a re-building of the garden of Eden on earth.

In the sweet story of the apple, malus domestica lays the truth about human nature. You question this, you might think it a ludicrous idea. In part you are right, and your doubts might spring from the question: was there ever such a thing as human nature? If we take the history of the apple and call it ‘a natural history’, and we take the history of humans and argue we are agents of nature too, then Henry David Thoreau comes out of the closet and screams out: “It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man!” Did you know that apples as we know them are a result of many years of human intervention with the sexual cycle of the trees? If you plant an apple seed, you are going to get a completely new variety of apple. That’s how apples ensure a wide genetic variation and defense against possible pests and intruders. Now that we have made sure to repress the sexual desire of apples to reproduce in their natural way, we have been able to selectively choose and arrive at the sweetest, the prettiest and the most generic types of apples. That’s right, as Michael Pollan put it, it is the blemish-free-plastic red saccharine orb that we have come to adore and then treat as irrelevant to society. What do I think is important about this story? It reminds about how the ingenuity of human beings can be found in so many places. We tend to think of ‘nature’ as untamed, untouched: an apple tree in the middle of a field charged with beautiful red fruit, a symbol of natural beauty. However, give that apple tree another look and you will discover it is a symbol of human’s pursuit of a deep seethed desire for SWEETNESS beyond measure, and how sweet can the apple get? How pretty, how red, how green can we make it now? As super-sweet as your wildest dreams go. It would be a folly to forget that messing with nature’s way has repercussions: if a resistant breed of pest hits the super model apples, they could all be gone without a word, as is the case with many other varieties of grain, fruits and vegetables treated in the same way. Humans have created the beautiful red, unable to fend for herself, at our expense and hers.  sweetness beyond dimension


3 Responses to “Sweetness Beyond Measure: Red Saccharine Orbs”

  1. Its funny, I was just munching down on a delicious apple as I read this article. Its interesting how for thousands of years we have been traditionally been altering fruit and developing new products. Recently we have been doing it labs, with genetics and little men in white coats. I wonder what will be next? Many people think grapples are genetically altered, but they are not, in fact if you have ever had one you will know they are incredible! You should pick some up if you haven’t!!

  2. alejandracuellar Says:

    Are you serious? A grape flavored apple! That sounds like magic. I have never seen one of these before…sounds like the cube shaped watermelons in Japan. Those are for sure genetically altered to fit into nice boxes. In terms of what is next, I think the real question is what is now and what is the now that we don’t hear about. I think the future that we imagine is already here. Industrial foods are a scary thing, you will definitely hear more about it, I’m trying to hunt it down.

  3. So yea, they take the apples and soak them in grape juice, im not sure if they vacuum pack them so that the juice is sucked in or how they do it, but they are great… Also Ive seen the watermelons, I think what they do is they grow them inside small boxes so that they take the shape… There is someone else doing something similar with pears, ill put up the link… This is quite cute…

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