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All About Apples

Facts about Michigan's fun fall crop

Apples are legendary. Not only are they lauded for keeping doctors at bay, they're also the temptress of the fruit family. A shiny red one was too much for Snow White to resist, and a golden one elicited so much lust it started the Trojan War. In Michigan, we've got our own heralded heritage. Here's some things you may not know about one of the fairest fruits in the land.

  • Can you imagine Michigan without a single apple tree? The entire North American continent was void of this delicious fruit before European settlers brought apple seeds to America.
  • Now, the United States is only second behind China in producing apples, and Michigan ranks third in the nation, after Washington and New York.
  • There are upwards of 8 million apple trees in Michigan.
  • With more than 916 million pounds produced last year alone, apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan.
  • Of all the apples grown in Michigan, about 60 percent will end up in pies, applesauce, cider and other products.
  • Chenango Strawberry. Winter Banana. No, they're not hybrid fruits or crayon colors; they're apples! These are just a couple of the thousands of varieties known throughout the world.
  • What do Michiganders prefer? Red Delicious has been a longtime favorite, followed by the Golden Delicious. The Gala and newer Honeycrisp varieties are quickly gaining popularity.
  • In Greek and Roman mythology, the apple is a symbol of love and beauty.
  • Apples are members of the rose family.
  • Michigan's official state flower is the apple blossom.
  • About 2 percent of folks in Western and European nations are allergic to apples. But thankfully, scientists are working to develop allergen-free varieties.
  • An apple a day may do more than keep the doctor away. According to scientists at Cornell University, chemicals found in the fruit may also protect against Alzheimer's and Parkinsonism, as well as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Sources: Michigan Apple Committee, AllAboutApples.com, Cornell University, Westview Orchard and Cider Mill, Fowler Farms

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