Apples have been hailed as a wonder food. There are hundreds of articles with the five best, 10 best or 20 best reasons to eat an apple a day. This fruit also been portrayed as an instrument of death. A poisoned apple put Sleeping Beauty in a deep eternal sleep, like death. The seeds of this fruit contain small amounts of cyanide, but not enough to cause death. Then there is the Apple logo for the technology giant and company. Thus, depending on one’s preference, and possibly one’s age, the mention of apple will conjure wondrous technological advances in communications and computing, wholesome foods or fairy tale deaths.
In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the apple represented knowledge. In the mid 1500s, Shakespeare frequently included the apple, his favorite fruit in his sonnets, poems and plays, which he referred to as the love-apple, apple, apple-john, or to types of apples such as the Leather Coat or Pippin. In the late 1600s, we had Sir Isaac Newton referencing the falling apple as leading him to the concept of gravity in the classical Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).
There are no known reasons for the choice of an apple as a logo for the company that creates the iPhone, and all things Mac. Rob Janoff, the man who drew the logo states that the bite out of the miniature apple was to provide scale and insure no one mistook the apple for a cherry.
As a featured image of death in an animated movie, portrayed as wonderful food or the iconic emblem for a technology giant, apples are one of the most prolific items in our food and business industries. Searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office database will find 62,855 applications for patent text and images using the word “apple.” A quick search of the trademark electronic search system (also known as TESS) will result in 17,857 records, which use the word apple in their word or design mark. Doing a Google search using the phrase “apple food products” generates over 121 million links or sites to specific foods, recipes, medicinal uses, products, research and product design, and food processing and products, all using the apple.
There have been numerous government-funded research and clinical studies into the efficacy of eating this fruit, or including apples in one’s diet. The Nurses’ Health Study found that apples were associated with a reduction in the risk of lung cancer and that lung function increases with the consumption of apples. A Finnish study concluded that the only specific food inversely related to lung cancer risk was the apple. Many of these studies also proved this fruit’s positive health effects in relation to the prevention of prostate, colon and breast cancers and leukemia, and in preventing the development of tumors in the skin, pancreas, stomach, breast and bladder.
The wonder apple aids digestion and helps fight obesity. The fruit’s pectin can hinder the absorption of dietary fat and can aid in reducing blood sugar. Apples are made into everything including cider, hard cider, beer, juice, wine, applesauce, muffins, pies, chutney, pies, Waldorf salad, chicken salad and more, but most people just eat the apple in its raw state from which one gains the greatest health benefits.
The apple on the iPhone and Mac and other Apple products represents to the holder of any of these products one of the greatest technological advances of the 20th century. These advances continue unabated with the only constraints on its uses being the creative limitations of its users. So purchase a bag full of wonderful apples from the grocery or farmer’s market, or purchase the newest and latest from the technology giant, or even see a Snow White Disney Movie, but beware of any apple offered by a jealous, wicked step-mother, as death or eternal sleep could be but one bite away.
By Brendie Kelly
Risk Management Magazine
Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Love’s Labour, William Shakespeare, Print edition
Folklore of Shakespeare 1883, by T. F. Thiselton Dyer, 2004, Print edition