On pre-sliced, preserved apple slices…

Twelve Easy Pieces

Not since the canneries of the early 20th century have food processors sought merely to preserve perishables. Processing foods now means redesigning them, making them easier to eat for a population that is steadily less willing to go to any trouble at all. Given the childhood obesity epidemic and the longstanding economic troubles of America’s apple growers, boosting the apple’s performance so that it could, as an industry observer explained, “stand up to ordinary use,” was a doubly urgent project. By making a healthful, fresh fruit that looks and acts more like a bag of chips, a handful of companies like Crunch Pak may have finally figured out a way to compete with the hassle-free junk foods that blazed into this era of hyperconvenience. Some marketers say that the reformation of our venerable apple — and the sense that this improvement was necessary — suggest that we may soon buy most of our produce this way. Presliced plums, celery, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mangoes and star fruits are all in production.


  1. I really did not like the article, and I had a hard time figuring out why specifically. The tone was snarkily pointed and smart-ass, almost for its own sake, as if they weren’t willing to come out and say what they wanted to say – are we lazy and are these convenience manufacturers preying on us with their silly goofy too-much technology, or are needs and products changing in response and this is great and innovative? The author straddeld both POVs I thought, and it was kind of feeling burdensome by the time I got to the end of the piece.

  2. Well yeah, it’s simultaneously good for us and farmers while being odd and gross.

    Until next year when we toss them back without a second thought.

  3. Everything wrong and unsustainable about our culture is stated by our attempts to make the eminently portable apple and somehow make it “better.” May our children and grandchildren find it in their hearts to forgive us during The Long Emergency.

  4. I wonder how much our typical apple is already different from a typical apple of 100 years ago.

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