EACH day, 50,000 shiny, fire-engine-red Gala apples work their way through a sprawling factory in Swedesboro, N.J. Inside, 26 machines wash them, core them, peel them, seed them, slice them and chill them. At the end of the line, they are dunked in a solution of calcium ascorbate and then deposited into little green bags featuring a jogging Ronald McDonald.
Whether or not McDonald’s new healthy fruit offerings represent a change of focus from their standard fare remains to be seen, but with expectations to buy 54 million pounds of apples, their coming influence over the nations fruit growers is potentially enormous. Odds they’ll go organic?