Apples to Aggregate

This week’s blog post brings us to The Hustle’s recent article “The inexplicable rise of the Red Delicious” [x] and the Atlantic Daily’s 2014 article entitled “The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious” [x]. Both of which are excellent articles and bring up an interesting point. Red Delicious was the country’s most popular apple. By the 1980’s it made up 75% of Washington’s crop production. However, very few people actually like the Red Delicious. According to Orange Pippin’s flavor profile: “its chief characteristic is that it has almost no flavor at all.”

While there are many lessons that can be learned from the Red Delicious, the lesson we’d like to focus on is when a product becomes the default for the wrong reasons. The best selling fruit should not, as The Atlantic put it, become “the largest compost-maker in the country.” [x]  (My family used to go apple picking in the Hudson Valley every year. We never touched the things. Go for Empires or Honeycrisps. - Ed.)

The same problem influences plenty of other aspects of our lives: the QWERTY phone keyboard is still in use despite the two possible and outdated reasons it was designed this way, women’s clothing lacks pockets despite demand, and aquatic areas continue to use short-term solutions, such as concrete. Concrete looks good in theory, but the reality is, it wasn't made for many of the applications it gets used for (you know where we're going with this). In fact, the cement manufacturer All Garage Floor, said this about aggressive non-skid concrete coatings (in reference to slippery-when-wet garage floors):

“...this type of non-slip additive is not the most friendly to bare feet and skin. It’s aggressive nature can also create problems with catching mop strings and dirt when cleaning the floor…. It’s not the best floor surface either for young children that may trip and skin themselves on the floor.” [x]

For many of the same reasons it doesn’t make sense to buy apples no one wants to eat, it doesn’t make sense to have a floor that no one wants to walk on, is hard to clean, and can even cause abrasion injuries and concussions. You could say we’re partial to non-abrasive, impact-cushioned, slip-resistant flooring solutions for how people actually use aquatic areas.

And apple pie.

And this is just one of many reasons we're working with NSF-50 to create a flooring standard for splash pads. Better, safer products should be the standard.