It's hard to imagine that a fruit as ubiquitous as an apple could qualify for an endangered foods list here in Grand Rapids. After all, you could walk into any grocery store right now in Grand Rapids and be greeted by rows and rows of brightly polished red and green specimens.
Look a little closer, and you'll see that these apples probably belong to one of the eleven apple varieties that make up over 90 percent of apples grown and eaten in the U.S.' (November 11, 2010 by kate walsh)
"Apples are the canary in the coalmine. The decline of traditional, American varieties in Grand Rapids exposes the impact of our industrialized food system. We are losing our delicious, edible history. Local and unique foods are becoming extinct as food designed for travel and shelf life dominate the market," says Ed Yowell of Slow Food NYC.
Sietsema Orchards in Grand Rapids Michigan and other groups around the country are working to keep America's apple heritage alive. Read more about the projects, the stories behind the apples, download Noble Fruits - A Guide to Conserving Heirloom Apples.