This was a great read, apples have sure been on my mind lately. I just finished working in an apple packing shed for a small apple farm in the Granite Belt region of Australia. Let me tell you, the world of the apple is a curious one. For starters I was amazed at the quantity of apples that are deemed unfit for sale to the larger grocery stores. They seem to scrutinise the quality the most. The smaller grocers are far more lenient, after all small bruises and imperfections on the apple doesn't render is junk, just not "perfect". The small farmers are slowly being forced out and made to deal with great losses as the larger conglomerate grocers (namely woolworth's, coles and IGA) continue to demand more and more perfection and efficiency out of a natural product that is of course subject to, temperature, sun condition, soil conditions, unwanted pests, etc. that are often impossible to control, or very very expensive.
The majority of the apples I packed were the Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Pink Lady and sometimes Fuji's, however they are being harvested less and less due to their soft skin which is subject to more bruising during transport. Often the farmers shipment is rejected because of small imperfections and the farmer is forced to try and sell to another buyer if not too much time has passed, or it goes to juice. Apples for juice only pays 50 cents a kilo , which is nothing.
And that's just apples, wait till I tell you about onions!