Washingtonian blood is at least 3% apple juice. Before I moved to Washington, I would have laughed that off as a stereotype - but the truth? I can't go a day without hearing about apples now that I live in the Evergreen State.

My co-workers take it seriously, too. Rik encouraged everyone to "fight him" in his claim that the Red Delicious is the best apple. He's only partly right, in my opinion - reds are great baking apples but horrible for snacking. But it is America's favorite apple, so who am I to tell the nation they have bad taste?

A farmer asks: conventional or organic?

In a recent thread on the Washington subreddit, a local apple farmer asked the state what they preferred to buy - conventional or organic apples. Since the word apple appeared, dozens of people have already shared their thoughts. So what do the good people of Reddit say?

Those in favor of the conventional apple

There are two main reasons folks seem to prefer the conventional apple: price, and a distrust of the organic label. User regaphysics explained, "... the history of organic labeling has shown it to be of very limited value/meaning. They are poorly defined terms and poorly enforced historically, and I have little confidence that has changed."

One user, Fox-and-Sons, brought up a point about texture and taste in organics I hadn't even considered:

For apples I actually tend to avoid organic, in my (very non-scientific) experience they tend to be less crisp and I hate a mealy apple.

To which user mitchehehe responded:

Your experience is correct! The chemical (1-MCP) they use to keep apples firm and from over ripening in long term storage is not allowed for organic apples. This means that the texture of organic apples won’t be as good the further it gets from harvest

Well, there's something I learned today!

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What about the people who prefer organic apples?

User rourobouros defends the organic apple, saying "I try to buy organic apples. The cost differential is not so much and apples are known to be one of the things that carry the most residual pesticides when nonorganic are selected. And organically grown are easy to find."

Another user said they would not rather contribute to toxins in groundwater, referring to an ABC news report. (Note - Washington State has specific requirements to use paraquat.)

And user apathy-sofa offered a lengthy explanation of the reasons they buy organic, from nutrition to pesticides, although they also cautioned that organics "seem to fade faster."

There's a third side to this argument, though

Before you pick your side in this debate, consider this third option: it doesn't matter, just buy Washington.

Plenty of people on reddit commented that their preference wasn't based on the way the apple was grown so much as the taste and the region it came from. Some buy only Washington apples, even when far away from home. Some just get apples from backyard trees or local fruit stands.

I'm in that camp, too. I'm not shy about conventional apples - I don't believe organic is always the best. And while organic apples do have a shorter shelf life, they can be truly fantastic if the grower is skilled at their work. Who else is more passionate about their apples than a Washington farmer?

Just make sure you don't eat any wild apple you find - there's one kind you definitely don't want to eat.

If you are going apple picking though, here's the best places to go!

Pick your way through 5 of Washington State's best apple orchards

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

Five Of The Healthiest Apple Varieties Are Here In Washington State

Explore the five healthiest apple varieties in Washington State.The healthiest apple to eat depends on personal preferences and nutritional needs. However, some popular choices known for their nutritional benefits include:

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals


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