Celebrate National Apple Month
When you think of October, what comes to mind? Halloween and trick-or-treat? Fall carnivals and harvest festivals? Oktoberfest and German oom-pah bands?
All of these are good reasons to celebrate October, and here is another reason: October is National Apple Month.
The United States Apple Association (USApple) describes National Apple Month as the only nationwide generic apple promotion in the country.
Founded as National Apple Week in 1904, the observance eventually grew into a month-long event. It expanded to three months in 1996. Today, the United States celebrates National Apple Month from September 1 to November 30 each year.
National Apple Month has a three-fold purpose: (1) to increase apple industry sales, (2) to encourage the use of apples and apple products, and (3) to promote awareness of their health benefits.
USApple strives to accomplish these objectives with annual retail contests and awards. Through store display contests, supermarkets, and military commissaries vie for cash prizes and the coveted "Apple Merchandiser of the Year" award.
Are you ready to celebrate National Apple Month? Continue reading to learn more about this annual observance and vote for your favorite apple.
Apples and Health
Everyone has heard, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." This modern proverb stems from an old English saying: "Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed, makes the doctor beg his bread."
The apple's health attributes have been touted since the Middle Ages. Modern research, which links apple nutrients to numerous health benefits, has renewed consumer interest in this superfood or "miracle fruit." Celebrate National Apple Month and celebrate your health.
While eating the flesh of apples may keep the doctor at bay, the best benefits come from the apple skin. So don't peel your apples. Phytonutrients that are present in the fruit's flesh and skin provide the antioxidant, anti-cancer properties that apples are famous for.
Apple nutrients are linked to a lowered risk of cancer, heart disease, cholesterol, asthma, and other chronic conditions. They also regulate blood sugar levels, which is good news for diabetics. Apples may even play a role in age-related problems like bone loss, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurological conditions.
American Apple Varieties
As you can see, apples and apple products are very beneficial for a healthy diet. If you don’t like apples, maybe you haven't found the right one.
Nearly 7,500 American apple producers grow more than 100 commercial varieties. Numerous "heirloom" varieties are grown in backyards or for niche markets.
Apples are grown commercially in 32 states. Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia are the ten top producers.
America's favorite apple varieties are Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, McIntosh, Rome, Empire, Braeburn, and Idared.
The newer Honeycrisp and Zestar varieties are growing in popularity despite their smaller production levels. Honeycrisp apples are my reason to celebrate National Apple Month.
What is your favorite apple? Cast your vote in our National Apple Month poll, or tell us about your favorite in the comments.
PBS Television Segment: Spotlight on Apples
Apples on Amazon
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Reference Sources / Further Reading
- Boyles, Saylynn. (2000) "An Apple a Day May Really Keep the Doctor Away." WebMD Health News. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
- Melgren, Susan. (September 12, 2011) "4 Health Benefits of Eating Apples." Natural Home And Garden. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
- Powell, Russell. (n.d.) "Apple Varieties." New England Apple Association. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
- USApple Staff. (n.d.) "National Apple Month." U.S. Apple Association. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
Copyright © 2011. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.
Published: October 22, 2011 / Modified: February 25, 2013.
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