I found a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald which has reported that the Sydney Postharvest Laboratory tested supermarket apples and found them to be up to 10 months old!
The test used Australia’s major supermarkets Woolworth’s and Coles; Analysis showed the Woolworths samples were about 10 months old while the Coles product had spent 9 months in storage since being harvested. The apples are pumped with a ripening hormone and coated in wax to give a nice appearance. What is the point of buying an apple like this, surely all the nutrition has left it?
The supermarkets say that they do it because consumers want apples all year round. But would customers buy this produce if they knew how old it was and what had been done to preserve it? I reckon they would definitely go for an alternative, something that is in season now.
This is where organic produce comes in. At Organic Angels, as well as other good organic retailers, you are most likely eating produce that was picked last week, if not a couple of days ago. If a customer asks us for some apples at this time of year, we suggest they should try a delicious peach or plum instead.
I am sure if supermarket customers were made aware of the facts and told what was in season, they would change their shopping habits.
If you are interested I also found a UK report in The Observer from 2003, giving a rundown of how old different ‘fresh’ fruit and veggies really are.