Interesting little factoid I just found out

One of the things that the organics and greenies whine about is that we eat a lot of stuff out of season these days. Apples in February, that sort of thing. This is all a result of the recent globalisation of the food supply chain and is a bad thing.

The little factoid is that imports leading to year round availability of apples happened in the 1930s. It happened before the birth of 95% or whatever of the population.

Just as the year round availability of wheat bread happened around 1850 after the repeal of the corn laws. We really did still have the \”hungry time\” in the month, six weeks, leading up to harvest until then.

Progress, it\’s such a shitty thing to do to people, isn\’t it?

13 thoughts on “Interesting little factoid I just found out”

  1. Surely we’ve always eaten apples in February. You harvest apples in autumn and then wrap them in newspaper and store in boxes in a cool shed. Keeps you in apples for months.

    Or if you’re posh you can buy apple racks.

    I think asparagus or strawberries might be a better example of off-season food.

  2. Quite.

    The apples thing is an odd one because, as fruit goes, it’s one of the least perishable on the market if stored correctly.

    In fact, that was the entire point of growing late season English apples, particularly Russets,etc.

    As long as you harvest before the first severe frost and store correctly, you should have edible fruit right through into February and might even make it all the way to March on a good year when the frost is late.

    The long storage life of apples is, from memory, the key reason why the English are pretty much the only nation to have developed a dedicated cooking apple – the Bramley, of course – to ensure that if we have no other source of vitamin C on a cold February night, there’s always a chance of a slice of hot apple pie and pint of cider.

  3. Except when the crop fails like last year and you go from having enough apples to store February one year not not enough for a decent apple crumble in October of that same year because of the miserable summer, as happened to our fine tree.

  4. You can trace the history of these bastards right back to the cause of the peasants revolt of 1381, when the tried to cap the wages of labourers to pre-plague levels even though the population had been decimated and the supply/demand balance for labour changed unutterably.

    These cunts would have us all working in the fields from dawn-til-dusk so that they could live off the sweat of our brows.

    Fuck ’em. I’ve got lots of piano wire and see no shortage of lamp-posts.

  5. SimonF

    True and you also need enough room for a decent sized tree plus pollinator if it’s not self fertile and a reasonable sized shed to store them in, which must be mouse proof, not as easy as it all sounds.

  6. I’m still happily munching through our store of Lane Prince Alberts. We had a bumper crop in the autumn. When what’s left looks on its last legs we’ll make apple sauce and freeze it.

    The decentish NZ apples must be arriving about now, I guess?

  7. Don’t forget according to the Guardian the other day people have never been so badly off. So presumably we are still running out of wheat for bread making around June/July time?

  8. The apple varieties that appear first don’t keep, but as the season goes on the later varieties, especially Cox, actually improve with keeping (if kept properly and if we don’t have a crap season like last year).

  9. Tim better check the definition of “factoid” as I think you might actually mean “fact”. A “factoid” is a questionable statement of spurious origin passed off as a fact. You know like everything on Richard Murphy’s blog.

  10. Also, wheat keeps for years, so year-round availability of bread is possible without imports if you grow enough wheat. Which was possible in the UK until the population grew rapidly in the 19th century.

  11. I recommend the Huonville Apple Museum, if you’re ever passing through Tasmania. Which was, for 40 years, the UK’s source of out-of-season apples.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *