This is a picture of my new red lacquered bowl filled with organic apples (Fuji, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, & Gala)
With apples high on the list of the “Dirty Dozen,” that is, the top 12 foods that are subjected to pesticides, SmartFresh is just one more slap in the face. In a recent article in the New York Times Dining Out Section (Oct. 25th), reporter David Karp notes that farmers have been using a synthetic gas called SmartFresh to prolong the “freshness” of apples. This gas blocks the ripening effect of ethylene, which is a natural plant hormone responsible both for ripening and subsequent decaying of the apple.
Despite the fact that apples can be stored over the winter with controlled atmospheric storage, SmartFresh, manufactured by AgroFresh, feels this is not good enough. Instead, they offer their product as one more way to extend the shelf life of apples. (My question is: Does this mean that these extended-shelf life apples are actually decaying and we don’t know it because of the gas?)
Long ago I decided to buy organic foods, starting with those whose skins I eat, like apples and peaches, and especially grapes. While SmartFresh does not affect my buying habits for apples, I thought I should alert readers to this latest gimmick.
My message to you is to switch to organic* apples and perhaps the SmartFresh farmers will “get smart” and follow your lead, growing organically to fill the increased need.
*Definition in Glossary.