Guest Post by Mira Dessy, Certified Nutrition Educator and holistic health columnist helping others eat well to be well.
One of my readers, sent in this picture and comment/question about these apples.
“We came across these apples at Stop & Shop here in town. We could not believe our eyes when we saw flavored apples!! I told my husband to take a pic to send to you because I wasn’t sure you would believe me when I tell you that they had bubblegum flavored apples. I believe there were four flavors total to choose from.
I’m curious what your thoughts are. I walked away all kinds of confused. Was this an attempt to help kids with poor eating habits cross over the healthy eating or the other way around? How exactly did they alter this apple to make it flavored? And of course the obvious…yet another example of FAKE food.
Oh and as you can see it’s was placed right next to the apples and the packaging says ready to eat snack. What’s so difficult about preparing an apple for eating? hmmm you wash it?!?!”
Good eye, and good thinking. This is very similar to something I just saw in my local grocery store called grapples. Research indicates that the flavoring comes from “natural” (read possible MSG ingredients) and artificial flavoring. It seems that the apples are marinated for several days in an undoubtedly chemical concoction which allows the apple to soak up the flavor. This process has apparently been approved by the FDA.
The Grapple company website assures the consumer that the product has not been genetically modified and there are no added sugars or calories. Unfortunately there is a huge chemical load, not just from the flavorings, but one assumes these are not organic apples and therefore potentially high in pesticide residue.
The Crazy Apple company website says they can’t tell you how they do it but I assume it’s the same sort of process. They do however assure you that their apples are gluten free (duh!), dairy free (again, duh!), and contain no soy or nuts.
I believe this is seen as a way to market apples to kids but I’m not really sure why this sort of adulteration is seen as a positive. Since apples by themselves are sweet, crunchy, and tasty I’m not sure what the appeal is here. Unfortunately I see this as a big step backwards as items like these further dull the taste buds to what food should taste like.
Update: It turns out these apples are being spotted all over the place and most of you are not happy about it. My friend Adrienne says, “If you want a grape flavored apple take a slice of apple and some grapes. Eat them together. It’s a party in your mouth!” Good advice.