Apples as the most common and mundane household fruit or so we have come to see them. Used to having them in our lives, we hardly see them sitting on our countertops. We bring apples home to add the beauty and taste of nature to our surroundings, but then forget about them. When we finally notice them, they are no longer delightful, but shrinked to wrinkled brown balls. There is not much we can do other than throw them away.
1. The Apple and the Garden of Eden
The French say cherchez la femme, meaning there is a woman involved in every dramatic story. We can confidently add cherchez la pomme. In the absolutely first story about mankind, there is a woman and an apple involved. Oh yes, and a serpent. The apple’s role is not only key to the story, it is presumably key to determining our fate on Earth. The phrase never sounding truer than in the story of Adam and Eve.
As the storyline goes, the serpent tempts Eve to offer the apple to Adam. The pair disregards the strict admonishment of God not to touch any fruit from the Garden of Eden. They were hoping they will get away with it. But that is not what happenes. The piece that Adam bites off sticks in his throat. Since, all men inheirt the lump protruding from the larynx known as Adam’s apple – a secondary sexual characteristic. When God finds out what the pair have done he expells them expells from Eden forever. He curses them with the original sin and turns them into mortals, which they pass on to all of mankind.
Because of this story, the apple takes on a lot of symbolic meaning: knowledge, perishability, temptation and the fall of mankind. Remember these meanings, they will come in handy at later points in our stories. If you’ve ever wondered why there is an abundance of apples in the painting depicting scenes from the New Testament, especially in those of Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, it’s because in Christian art the apple has also come to symbolise redemption. The savior has descended to Earth to redeem us of the sins of this firstborn couple.
In Catholisism, the original sin is the cornerstone of its religious beliefs. But regardless if we buy into the ideas of the Catholic Church, the words of the current Head, Pope Francis, have something to teach us on our culture of waste, which, “has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition”.
2. The Apple and the War of Troy
The War of Troy started again because of a woman and an apple and it didn’t go well either. We will remind you of the story, as Greek Legends are confusing, complicated and hard to remember. Eris, the Goddess of Discord, finds out she is not invited to a major royal wedding of anicent Greece. The wedding party is concerned that she might ruin the event by causing a discord. Hence, she decides to set things right in her signature style.
Eris appears in disguise during the wedding feast and tosses an apple amongst the guests as a prize for the most beautiful. This fuels a discord between three of the present uber-godesses, Hera, Athens and Aphrodite. Each goddess insists the apple is meant for her. To stop their fight, Zeus, as the main organizer of the event, sends them off to Paris (remember, Orlando Bloom in Troy, the movie) to judge the dispute, turned into a beauty contest. Paris is at Mount Ida, sent there to live in exile by his parents, King Priam and Queen Hekuda of Troy. When his mother was pregnant, she dreamt of giving birth to a burning torch that would set Troy on fire. So they decide to banish Paris from Troy as a measure of precaution.
In order to seduce Paris to vote in her favour, each of the goddesses tries to tempt him with promises. Hera offers to give him power over all people, Athens – remarkable war victories, and Aphrodite, the love of the most beautiful woman on Earth. Paris (surprise, surpise!) decides the contest in favour of Aphrodite and receives from her the love of the beautiful Helen, wife of the Spartan King Menelaus. Upon the abduction of Helen, King Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon set off to unify the Greeks in a War against Troy. Despite the Troyan Horse, in the end everyone important dies, or almost everyone.
So once again here is a story how a woman and an apple start one of the most epic and tragic events in human history.
3. The Apple and the Independence of Switzerland
This is another epic story with a dramatic and famous main scene – Wilhelm Tell who shoots an arrow into an apple placed on his son’s head. But there are more obscure details that surround the legend that make Tell one of the greatest heroes of Switzerland. His example inspires the people of the Swiss Land to revolt against the Habsburgs.
The dramatic events takes place November 18, 1307. The newly appointed governor, Albrecht Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of the Habsburg dukes, sticks a pole on the centre of the square Altdorf, the capital of Uri Canton. He hangs his hat on top of it, and demands that all the townsfolk bow before it as they pass by. Wilhelm Tell, a skilled marksman with the crossbow, either did not know about the order or chose to defy it, and thus walks straight pass the pole without bowing. The guards immediately arrest him.
Tell’s penalty is to shoot an arrow with his crossbow targetting the apple placed on his son’s head. His arrow is accurate and hits the apple precisely. Gessler, both impressed and irritated, asks why Tell is holding another arrow in his hand. Tell looks him straight in the eyes and answers without winking. Should the first arrow have accidentally hit his son, then the second one would be for Gessler.
This time his insolence gets him a lifetime sentence. While he is being transported by boat to the Küssnacht Castle dungeon, a storm brakes out on the Lake Lucerne. The guards need all available helping hands to stir the boat to shore. They plee Gessler to let Tell help them. The governor realises the danger and agrees to free Tell’s hands from the shackles. Instead of heading to the castle, Tell steers the boat to a rocky shore. Once near enough he leaps out and runs to a huge rock with Gessler chasing him at his feet. Tell manages to ambush the tyrant and finally, using his second arrow, assassinates him.
Now that we know the details that surround tthe famous dramatic scene, we finally get a happy end apple story. The boy standing with an apple with an arrow in his head. Touche.
4. Snowhite and the Apple, A Medieval SciFi Thriller
Snowhite and thes Seven Dwarfs has many variations, but there is an apple in all of them. The most famous of all undoubtedly is that of the German Ingenious Duo, the Grimm Brothers. Like all great masterя of science fiction Grimm have visionary predictions. The mirror which the evil queen uses to spy on the young princess doubles as a surveillance camera. The many assassination attempts of SnowWhite are all unsuccessful until the queen comes up with the poisonous apple idea. Here again, the apple is a symbol of temptation and seduction of the innocent and the forebearer of great evil. But as we all know, this is yet another happy end apple story.
5. The Apple and the Laws of Gravity
Insight is a sudden realisation of something that has been in front of everyone’s eyes all the while, but no one had seen so far. Newton himself, it is said, describes the the discovery the Laws of Gravity as such a sudden leap of inutition.
One autmn day, Newton was sitting in his garden absobed in deep in thought over a problem he was working on. All of a sudden a falling apple catches his attention and he watches it hit the ground. At that precise moment the insightful question popped up in his mind. “Why does the apple always falls perpendicularly to the ground and straight towards the centre of the Earth? Why does it never digress sideways or in the opposite direction?” As people say, a good question leads to a good asnwer and hence, the Law of Gravity is born.
This story was written down by William Stukeley in his script, “Memoirs of Sir Issac Newton. He recalls that Newton shared it with him in his own house on April 15, 1725. A totally mundane occurrence, a falling apple, lead to one of the biggest discoveries of all times. This apple story has been key to revolutionising physics and our grasp of the physical world.
Of course, there are many more apple stories of more recent times worth telling. But by now you are surely convinced that the apple, mundane as it may appear, is no ordinary fruit. Apple stories are full of drama and unexpected turnarounds. So why do we currently have such a disregard for apples? We believe it is a result of the previaling generally dismal attitude to food. Our modern times have strongly affected our food perception, and food waste is its dramatic side effect.
Why We Have an Apple in Our Logo
The way we treat apples has become symbolic of our waste culture. That is why, we, at CozZo, chose the apple to represent our purpose.
We will succeed when as a society we manage to keep our apples from going bad and eat them in time.
By eating our apples in time we accomplish several things: (1) we treat our food mindfully, (2) we manage our food and eat it when it is at its best, (3) we minimise food waste. And food waste is just so uncool. In addition to that, our disdain for the apple is totally undeserved, as it is simply the most glorious fruit in the world with an absolutely amazing history to its name that goes way back in time. Let us recall these stories and let us keep our apples from here on in high regard. By doing that we will move one step forward as a society.