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June 14, 2012 at 11:54 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Apple vs. Apple (Inc.)

By Kyle McCarthy from SLN More Blogs by This Author

Some Fruit Company?

Something surprising has happened in the realm of semiotics so subtle that most of us haven’t even noticed. When stated aloud, the word “apple” no longer signifies a round, red or green fruit, with a small stem protruding from it’s anterior end. That image has been replaced with visions of the iconic fruit, sans a single bite, which serves as the logo for Apple Inc. Now, when most people hear the word apple, they think of apps, word processing, and Photoshop. It makes me wonder when the tangible fruit lost its foothold to the virtual media giant in this semantic battle and why?

Steve Jobs dedicated his too short life to producing revolutionary consumer electronics that have blazed the trail for new forms of media and entertainment. His legacy of innovation, integrity, and philanthropy will inspire every forthcoming generation. His Apple, Inc. products have changed the way we live immensely over the past 30 years; triggering a tectonic shift in both the messages and the medium through which we communicate. With that being said, his Apple is an imposter! 

iPhone

Everyone has heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but I think people have a tendency to disregard this sentence as merely idiomatic. The relevance of such a simple maxim has been lost in the succinct, rhythmic cuteness of it.  I’m good proof of this point. I don’t love visits to my doctor’s office, and I’ve been hearing this phrase my entire life. Nevertheless, I haven’t eaten an apple for at least five years... until yesterday. This surprisingly delightful activity got me thinking about the actual link between good health, the apple, and incorporating fruit into my diet, in general.

Biting of the Fruit

Adam and Eve

I grew up in a household with two very hard-working, professionally-educated parents, who often worked odd shifts. This meant that my sister, my brother, and I were often left to our own devices regarding our dietary habits. Naturally, I developed a lifelong devotion to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Coca-Cola, and Hot Pockets. My ritual ingestion of processed food and soda pretty much trumped any desire I had for fruit. Why would you eat an apple when you can eat Apple Jacks? Besides, apples always hurt my gums, and the skin of the fruit would get stuck in between my teeth.

Last night, while watching an excellent documentary on John Lennon, entitled, Imagine, I was struck by the image of an apple on my television screen. For some reason, this provided the visual stimulus necessary for me to rise in a catatonic, zombie state and shuffle down the hall and into the kitchen. Sure enough, there in the fruit bowl (I have roommates) sat a collection of about a dozen or so red, robust, resplendent apples. My right arm, obeying my subconscious mind’s instructions, plucked what my brain must have perceived to be a good one, and I took my first bite of an apple in roughly half a decade.

Never in my life have I felt more akin to a biblical character! My taste buds screamed a declaration, “Eve!  I get it!  I don’t blame you at all!  Who could possibly resist!” I, myself, was suddenly presented with a new knowledge that I had never known. Finally, a fruit… that tastes good!!!  I began ransacking our refrigerator acting as human garbage disposal to a banana, a package of raspberries, and a bunch of grapes (I didn’t just eat several grapes, I ate the entire bunch). After throwing down on this exorbitant amount of fruit, I resumed my position on the couch, but this time with Apple to do a little research about my new friend, the apple.

Apples

It turns out that the phrase I once disregarded as a trite children’s rhyme holds a considerable amount of truth. Apples (red, green, or otherwise) contain loads of healthy ingredients that can contribute to a healthier you!

  • Vitamin C which boosts the immune system, helping to safeguard against and combat disease and illness.
  • Within an apple, there are juices that fight against the bacteria in your mouth, acting as a sort of natural mouth wash.
  • Phytonutrients hidden inside an apple help to prevent brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  • Apples contain sugar, but they only have about 80 calories. This means that you can get your sweet fix without packing on the pounds!
  • Flavonoids, a metabolite used to pigment plants, are found in apples and are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.

I have not lived an exceptionally healthy life to this point, which is one of the reasons that I am so excited to be blogging for the HelloLife Network (Organic plug… get it?). Writing in this format provides me with an opportunity to investigate some of the health benefits of things I hadn’t previously considered. For instance, each item listed above speaks to me directly. Apples are beneficial to my health and wellness in at least five different way, and they taste amazing.

While it appears as though the apple maxim holds true, there are many other great fruits that will help keep the doctor away, as well. According to the CDC, based on my age and gender, I should eat at least two full cups of fruit every day. As much as I apparently love apples, it’s important to add some variety in my fruit diet to keep my interest. Here is a brief list of some other fruits and their benefits:

  • Grapes have large percentages of iron, which helps keep the body energized.
  • Bananas are a natural aid in smoking cessation.  They B6, B12, potassium, and magnesium which ease the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Oranges, which are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, significantly lower the risk of lung cancer.
  • Pears help prevent osteoporosis as they contain large amounts of boron, which helps our bodies retain calcium.

If apples aren’t really your thing, maybe some of the fruits listed above offer an enticing alternative. It seems as though it doesn’t really matter what type of fruit you prefer, they all offer fantastic benefits to your overall health and wellness.

As it turns out, Steve Jobs himself was a fruit addict and he named his company “Apple” in honor of the fruit he thought of as “fun, spirited, and not intimidating.” It seems as though this massive corporation and the humble fruit have been harmonious all along. 

References:

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/results/men.html?age=27&gender=male&activity=sed&Search+Button.x=20&Search+Button.y=8

http://www.succeedwiththis.com/9-reasons-why-an-apple-a-day-really-keeps-the-doctor-away/

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/an-apple-a-day.htm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/10/20/steve-jobs-bio.html

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