Apples Need Activists Too: Slow Food USA Presents Apple Preservation Guide Slow Food USA Presents Apple Preservation Guide

Become an "apple activist": Check out Slow Food USA's new guide to apple preservation.

One hundred years ago, Americans munched on more than 15,000 domestically grown apple varieties. Fast forward a century, and today's supermarkets regularly stock just 11 types of the fruit.

The genetic diversity of America's apples has been in rapid decline, putting the species at serious risk in the case of pest or disease outbreak. That's why Slow Food USA just published Noble Fruits, A Guide to Conserving Heirloom Apples, available in PDF form on their website.

The guide profiles the work of current "apple activists," like Slow Food New York City's project to recolonize public spaces with trees bearing the Netown Pippin variety, a Queens native.

The publication also offers tips on how to get involved in apple preservation. Suggestions include rounding up friends for an apple or apple cider tasting with unfamiliar varieties, encouraging restaurants to list variety names on their menus, and lobbying a local grocer to diversify his apple stock.

Image (cc) by Flickr user Kristen Taylor