For over 70 years, the marketing of one fruit has made it ever-present in our daily lives.

The Red Delicious, in the American consciousness, represents the quintessential apple. It's the one you see on the teacher's desk, and the one in every student's lunchbox. It's also known as the official compost food. But as aesthetically pleasing as it is to the eye, one bite reminds you that what you really want, is one of those crispy golden apples instead. So how is it that they keep selling, and we keep buying, this god awful thing? The production of this gorgeous monstrosity is finally on the decline but, how did we ever let it get this far?

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Our story starts rather innocently, with few traces of capitalist forces.

Jesse Hiatt, an Iowa farmer, came across a mutant seedling that refused to die. Year by year he chopped it down and year by year it grew back, so finally he let nature bear its course. What resulted was a thing of beauty - red with yellow stripping. It had strong, beautiful skin and a sweet, delicious taste. Hiatt named it "Hawkeye" in Iowa tradition, and boasted of the mutated beauty he'd cultivated. He entered into a contest in Louisiana, Missouri, hosted by Stark Nurseries.

The owners of the nursery, the Stark brothers, were looking for a replacement apple for the "Ben Davis," which was the apple-of-the-day at that time. The "Hawkeye" won and the Stark brothers purchased it, initially naming it "Delicious". In 1923 a farmer reported back to Stark Nurseries that a strange and beautiful mutation had occurred on one of his seedlings, producing a magnificent, crimson apple tree. Instantly wildly popular, people flocked from all over to gawk at and devour this new beauty of a fruit.

Stark capitalized off of this revelation.

By combining the new varietal with another popular seedling the bore, the "Golden Delicious," he rebranded their new apple as the "Red Delicious". Armed with their innovative new breed, they launched what would equate to a multi-million dollar marketing campaign in today's dollars, and even went as far as to send seedlings cross country by railroad.

As growers rushed to mimic this brilliant looking mutation, they began adopting new methods to control the breeding process.

A Life of Apples wrote: "This has allowed growers and breeders to choose mutations that may be redder or more 'perfectly' shaped, constantly moving the Red Delicious closer to an ever-changing ideal of a perfect apple". They also began manipulating the fruit to maximize it's potential for mass market production and longer storage. This led to stronger, tougher skin which hid blemishes and impurities.

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This is why you may bite into a gorgeous apple, only to discover the mealy and tasteless fruit within.

And as they've continued making the apple redder and prettier, as well as increasing production, we've continued taking that first bite and then throwing the apple away, unsatisfied. However, it appears that our taste buds have caught on. Sales for the Red Delicious has declined. And while many of us remember the bailouts of the bank and the auto industry, President Clinton's apple industry bailout continues to be lesser known. In seems that we may be checking out the apple market again, flirting with Galas and Fujis, and Grannysmiths'.

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.