“If an apple were to explode like a hand grenade when it reached a stage of ripeness not permitting it to reach the consumer in good condition, we would have a red-hot incentive to do a better job. In some orchards pickers could not be induced to put a ladder in a tree, while cold storage and refrigerator cars would blow up all down the line.

“But apples do not behave in that manner. Quite in contrast to this, they behave as if they were under the invisible hand of a taxidermist, retaining the sleek outward appearance of their native habitat while their flesh is gradually changed for something like cotton, excelsior or sawdust.”

Dr. Edwin Smith, senior horticulturist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wenatchee, addressing the Washington State Horticultural Association annual meeting, 1945.