Monday, February 25, 2013

All About Apples

There are many different varieties of apples
CultureLink's Wintegration Program for Newcomer Youth Centre is an afterschool program focused on healthy living, sports and nutrition. Recently, we have been talking about apples. Our goals were to learn about the history of apples, customs, as well as some geographical knowledge on where apples are grown. Lynda prepared several fresh and cute apples for us to eat. We sat along some tables in a circle. We also had some discussions of fun facts about apples, with some information on the nutritional value of apples.

Ambrosia apples - crisp and juicy with a distinct aroma
First of all, we learnt that “apples have existed as a wild fruit since prehistoric times and have been cultivated for more than 3000 years.” Another interesting fact we learnt, is that “during the California Gold Rush, apples sometimes fetched more than 100 dollars a bushel because of their versatility, durability and capacity to be preserved by drying.” Before then, I have known that apples are associated with good health and healthy eating. However, I was surprised to know that they can also be used as cures for a variety of ailments, the most common one being for warts!

Gala apples - in season in Ontario between Sep and Feb
We also learnt about the geographical origins of apples. “According to Agri- food Canada, apples are mainly grown in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island”. “China is the largest producer of apples, followed by US, Turkey, Poland and Italy.” I was also surprised to learn that “the apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea”. Who would have known?

Here are three more fun facts on apples: “It takes four apples to make a glass of pure apple juice”. During the session, we had originally guessed that it took less than four apples to make a glass of pure apple juice! On first thought, it seems like a waste to make apples into apple juice! However, thinking about how much water and syrup must have been added into pre-packaged apple juice, it's probably better to use a juice extracter and make my own if I wanted to taste the goodness of pure apple juice!

Empire apples - slightly tart; juicy, firm and crisp.
Ideal for making applesauce
“Takes four to five years for an apple tree to produce it’s first apple”. We initally thought that maybe it would only takes one to two years for a new tree to produce first apple. We were surprised to find out how much time it actually takes! Now I know how hard it is for mother nature to produce apples.

We also learnt that “Planting an apple seed from a particular apple will not necessarily produce a tree of that same variety. The seed is a cross of the tree the fruit was grown on and the variety that was the cross pollinator”. Sounds pretty complex to me! Such is the wonder of nature.

Finally, here are three nutrition facts about apples.

“Apples are a good source of fibre and vitamin C when the skin is left on.”

“Apples contain phytonutrients which help regulate blood sugars.”

“Apples contain pectin which helps to remove cholesterol and toxic metals.”

MacIntosh apples - named after John McIntosh of Dundela, ON
after he discovered a seedling by chance in 1800
After we learned so much about apples. We also made our own apple poems. And Lynda read all our poems to us. We all did well!

Before I learned these things. I only knew that apples are good and healthy but now I know lots of details. And I know how apples are very good for our body system. I am really thankful for Lynda of teaching us and I will eat more apples for health in the future.

Written by: Jessica Wang
Edited by: Lynda Young

No comments:

Post a Comment