The nationally acclaimed Rodale Institute will celebrate its fifth annual Organic Apple Festival on September 21 in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, more than 30 years after planting the trees. Organizers note that when growers select just one genetic variety of apple to reproduce and cultivate, they create a monoculture that easily becomes more susceptible to pests and diseases than an orchard that hosts several varieties.
An array of insects and blights favor this all-American fruit, which is why standard apples are the single-most pesticide-contaminated produce item at conventional groceries. Large agribusiness operations typically grow fruit bred for durability and color during shipping and shelf life. Organic apples, by contrast, are chosen for flavor and regional adaptability.