Ever hear the saying: “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away”?  Well, in this case, an apple a day might remind us to take good care of our available food-producing land!  A long time ago (in the 70’s?) someone came up with an idea to use an apple to demonstrate that our world has a fixed amount of food-producing land…and it’s not very much!  Here’s how it works:

Select an apple and a sharp knife and section it as follows:


Slice the apple into quarters.

  • 3 quarters represent the oceans of the world.  
  • 1 quarter roughly represents the total land area of the earth

Slice this land in half, giving you two 1/8 world pieces.  

  • Set aside one of the pieces.  This represents land inhospitable to people such as the polar areas, deserts swamps, very high and rock, mountainous areas.  
  • The other 1/8 piece is the land area where people live, but not necessarily grow the foods needed for life.

Now slice this 1/8 piece into 4 sections; set aside one section.  

  • The other 3 pieces  represent areas too rocky, too wet, too cold, too steep, or with soil too poor to actually produce food.  They also include the areas of land that could produce food but are buried under cities, highways, suburban developments, shopping centers, and other structures that people have built.

Carefully peel the last section.  This tiny bit of peeling represents the surface, the very thin skin of the earth’s crust which humankind depends.  Less than 5 feet deep, it is quite a fixed amount of food-producing land!


As we pursue an ecofriendly lifestyle, there’s so much we can do to take care of our available land.   We’ve covered a few of these ideas, such as practicing permaculture, composting, worm composting, supporting organic farms, and buying Non-GMO products.  The fact that you are reading this  indicates you care and are on your own ecofriendly pursuit!   So, when you eat an apple, think about all you are doing to take care of the world’s fixed amount of food-producing land!  Thank you!



Photo Credits:  Earth with bite taken out of it by JD Hancock; Apple photos by Katie Grenier; Earth by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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