Apples and Oranges: a Comparative Essay

Apples and Oranges: A Comparative Essay Is the old adage “you can’t compare apples and oranges” correct? Besides being food, both of these produce items have much in common. They both are located under the Fruits and Vegetable category of the Canadian Food Guide; they are both spherical in shape, making them fit in the palm of your hand; and they both have a considerable amount of moisture under their skin. However, in both nutritional value and aesthetic appearance the orange far out weighs the lowly apple.

Although, according to the Canadian Food Guide, a serving of apples and a serving of oranges are both considered one equal serving within the Fruits and Vegetables category, the nutritional value of oranges is far superior to that of apples. First, oranges have a higher concentration of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential in strengthening and maintaining a healthy immune system. Thus, the greater the vitamin C—within reason—the greater the functioning and resilience of our immune system. Furthermore, peeling an orange often requires extreme dexterity and excellent hand-eye coordination.

Thus, when eating an orange one is not only receiving an excellent dose of vitamin C, one is also practicing hand-eye coordination and honing his/her dexterity. On the other hand, apples, although a good source of vitamin C lack the concentration that is obviously present in oranges. Thus, when eating an apple it seems that the apple’s nutritional value is simply calorie intake—fuel for the body. While this function is necessary, oranges ‘play double duty’. They provide us with calories at the same time as helping us to fight viruses and disease.

Furthermore, eating an apple only requires a strong jaw and teeth. It does not help us to practice transferable skills such as dexterity. While the nutritional value of the fruits we consume is important, their aesthetic appearance is of greater concern. The appearance of an apple is pleasing; its symmetry, shine, and contours emulate marble sculptures. However, there is one essential flaw in the aesthetic of the apple. It lacks a strong and invigorating aroma. When an apple is bitten, it emits a deep musky smell, one that is unique but in no way mood-changing.

Oranges, when peeled emit a heavy citrus scent which, studies have shown, help us to become re-energized. Perfumers have even attempted to capture this scent in their colognes, body washes, and au de toilets. But no synthetic concoction can truly mimetic the revitalizing effects of citrus. The very prestigious study of aromatherapy has verified the mood-changing effects of the citrus scent; “citrus is often used by psychologist to treat patients with depression with some promising results” (Fakes 2).

Thus the orange combats both diseases of the body and diseases of the mind. Although there are many superficial similarities between apples and oranges, oranges are of greater nutritional and aesthetic value. Apples are valuable in their caloric value and their appearance, but they lack both the concentration of vitamin C as well as the revitalizing citrus effects. Therefore, perhaps the old adage is correct: “You can’t compare apples and oranges”.

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