Before the 20th Century, Apples Were Rarely Eaten

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Apples weren’t typically eaten previous to the 20th century.  Before then, apples were generally used to make alcoholic drinks.  It wasn’t until around the early 1900s, thanks to groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, that people popularly stopped using apples for drink and decided they should eat them.  At this time, the WCTU was campaigning against the evils of alcohol (mainly tired of all the drunken men going around abusing them and their children; many people at this time drank water only when absolutely necessary.)   When alcohol started becoming unpopular in America at this time, apple farmers switched their tact and began promoting the apple as a food item for keeping healthy: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

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2 comments

  • This seems to be based on Michael Pollan’s book. Unfortunately, he focuses mainly on apples in the US, not in the world. In the middle east apple is mainly used for eating and rarely for making alcoholic beverages. As it’s one of few fruits that can be stored for an extended period of time with little effort, it made perfect sense… you might want to specify that it’s US you are talking about…

  • I think you mean to say “switched tack” rather than “switched tact”

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