There are 7,500 different types of apples worldwide. Twenty-five hundred of those just in the United States.
Some of you may know this already, but holy moley that is a ton of variety.
The regular grocery store carries maybe four kinds of apples on a good day. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s can get crazy with seven or eight. There are a few holiday apples thrown in throughout the year, but for the most part, we are not even given a reasonable sample of everything out there.
Where the heck are the rest of the apples? Who decided that Red Delicious and Granny Smith run the show with Gala and Fuji close behind?
I go out of my way at farmers markets for Jonagold, and I lose my earthy shopper mind when I see Empire apples. I pride myself on seeking out flavors and variety, but 2,500 in this country alone?
That’s unbelievable. Someone or something is deciding what apples are allowed in the mainstream.
After turning this information around in my head for a few days, I’m pissed at the limits.
I have been reading about white privilege and cultural appropriation. Two phrases I hear all of the time but have never understood.
Now, I do.
I will not explain here. I will not be able to do either topic justice.
If you are curious, I recommend Joseph Barndt’s book Understanding and Dismantling Racism: The Twenty-First Century Challenge to White America. It is long and definitely not fun stuff like Harry Potter, but I enjoy knowing even when it’s ugly, so it works for me.
I wrote a post awhile back that spoke to racial tension with police officers and my frustration with finding answers. In that same post, I mentioned my desire to know, spend time with more people of color, but it seemed disingenuous to seek out friends based on their skin tone.
I was wrong.
A lovely person named Jan commented. “Yes, it would be disingenuous to seek out friendships with certain folks because of skin color. Why would I do that? Unless… my motives are to open discussion and find out what it’s like. To hear and be heard, to see with our own eyes and sense with our own heart – without waiting for the middleman.”
She was right, and I get it now.
There is nothing wrong with seeking out that which is, for so many reasons, not in my immediate space. In fact, if we are ever going fix things, even some of the things, we need to cut out the middleman.
We need to be outraged at only having access to seven apples. For things to get better, we need to taste as many of the 7,500 varieties as humanly possible.
I want more apples, more shades, more textures in my life.
If that means I have to stand up and say, “Hello, I’m Tracy, and if you are a person of color, a different religion, a different varietal than me, I would like to know you better,” then that is exactly what I am prepared to do.
I will not be limited and fed only what is given to me when there is so much more out there to enjoy.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Waking Up.