The latest viral internet outrage has come from a Canadian grocery store that has started selling pre-peeled avocados sold in a large bundle of plastic and cardboard packaging. A woman named Christine Kizik snapped a photo of the pre-peeled avocados on the shelves and uploaded it to Facebook, criticizing the grocery store for wasting so much extra packaging for a fruit that already had its own natural protective casing built in.
According to Mashable, the Facebook post has since received a flood of responses to Kizik, who specifically asked for thoughts and opinions about the pre-peeled avocados.
“Surprised and disappointed after a friend posted a picture of an avocado for sale at his local Sobeys in Thornhill, ON. It’s been precut, then wrapped in plastic and cardboard. Avocado’s have their own perfect, compostable, wrapping. Adding packaging to an avocado is strange to say the least. This is wasteful and I’m curious about the reasoning for Sobeys stocking avocado this way? Looking forward to a response. Thank you.”
Most of the comments seemed to agree with Kizik’s criticism of the pre-peeled avocados, with one Facebook user pointing out that this isn’t the first instance of wasteful grocery packaging that has gotten attention on the internet, but acknowledging how the pre-peeled avocados might be advantageous for some people.
Whole Foods was recently pressured into pulling pre-peeled, pre-packaged oranges from their shelves after consumers around the world accused them of wasting a lot of extra material for the sake of a slight increase in convenience.
If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn’t need to waste so much plastic on them. pic.twitter.com/00YECaHB4D
— Nathalie Gordon (@awlilnatty) March 3, 2016
And convenience alone seems to be the only defense that grocery stores have in response to the backlash over pre-peeled fruits. After Kizik’s post went viral, the Canadian grocery store Sobeys took the time to respond to the pre-peeled avocado controversy and claimed the product “was developed for people who might be new to using avocados and for a little more convenience. It eliminates the guesswork when it comes to ripeness and any challenges if you are not familiar with peeling and seeding a fresh avocado.”
But one Facebook comment on Christine Kizik’s post asserted that removing the plastic package would actually be more difficult to open than the natural peel of an avocado.
“Could you please create another version with the avocado cut into bite-size pieces, with each piece wrapped in its own box?” said another comment. “Halves are just too much trouble. Thanks.”
But Sobeys did provide one additional defense of the pre-peeled avocados. As a fruit that goes bad incredibly quickly, the company claimed the packaging helps “to keep the fresh wholesome appearance and quality of the avocado without it browning prior to consumption.”
The Star also reported on the pre-peeled avocado controversy, claiming that Sobeys could have easily found a way to instruct consumers how to cut avocados instead of encouraging laziness.
For years, grocery stores have simply sold produce in their natural state, often piled into a basket, unwashed and unorganized, and this method seemed to work fine. Does this mean it has become a trend for companies to go out of their way to pre-packaged fruits that don’t need packaging, just to entice customers to pay an extra buck to save some time?
The Guardianrecently reported on the shocking price markup for pre-packaged or sliced fruit, calculating that consumers can pay upwards of three to five times as much for fruit encased in plastic than fruit that is sold by itself.
While many have pushed for less waste and pollution for the sake of an ever-degrading planet, it seems other companies are only adding to the needless trash that will end up in a landfill.
What do you think? Are these pre-peeled avocados evidence of a packaged fruit trend?
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