I have a hard enough time with stickers on fruit let alone barcodes. Why can’t a human being look at fruit to determine it’s freshness or quality? That’s rhetorical of course, my point is I do not like the mechanization of the produce isle, it seems the last frontier of fresh nature in an urban environment outside of a city park.
I try to live a fairly organic life, I shop mindfully when I can and consider myself on the activist side of the green movement. I understand there are choices involved here on where to shop and how to shop etc…etc…and I do try to shop at the coop more often than not. What do you think? Do you care who sorts your fruit?
Please indicate if you live in an urban, suburban or rural setting if you don’t mind. I am moving to a rural setting and am going to enjoy the farm stands.
The barcodes don’t have anything to do with freshness, they just identify the inventory number at the register for easier pricing. There’s nothing implicated here about the environment, or freshness, or quality, or anything like that; barcodes are a convenience that becomes a necessity when scaling up distribution to the levels needed to service an urban area.
Maybe I’m missing your point?
ETA: I currently live in a very rural area, though I also lived in Seattle for some years recently.
Yeah, I don’t get it either. Barcodes on products being sold allow that product to be scanned at checkout, rather than having to be entered by hand on a keyboard. It’s faster and more accurate. I don’t see how having a barcode on an apple or bag of salad mix is any different than having one on a roll of paper towels or carton of milk.
Now, it’s possible that the barcodes could be used in other ways – it could also include the date the product was picked or packaged or received or shelved, and thus help with inventory control and rotation.
Still, how is that anti-freshness or anti-organic or whatever it is you’re rambling about?
It’s a lame rant I know. I’m sure they speed up the process, no matter which process it is. I suppose I just don’t like the marrying of technology and fruit, the utility of the sticker is irrelevent, to me. Smeghead your scenerio scares me, glad we’re not there yet.
Speaking as someone who has worked in a supermarket, barcodes on fruit/vegies would help in many ways because a surprising amount of fruit and produce looks similar to other types of fruit and produce.
For example, there might be three or four different types of spud on sale, or different varieties of red or green apples, or types of lettuce… you get the idea.
Some of this has to do with ‘country of origin’ rules and the ability to track food products back down the line. Most fruit that used to be available seasonally is now available year round. Grapes from Chile, apples from New Zealand, etc.
Food safety rules, you ask for them, you get them. It’s a good idea.
Proper inventory control requires that a seller be able to track the product if there is a problem. Unpackaged products, like fruit and vegetable produce are difficult to label. The regulations keep adapting as new problems arise.
GMP (good manufacturing practices) GAP (good accounting practices) it’s all quite boring but necessary.
Why??? Firstly, it was a deliberately ludicrous example, intended to illustrate a process that is overly complex and of no benefit whatsoever. Why on earth would anyone think it’s a good idea to implement it?
Secondly, even if someone was stupid enough to do it, what possible harm could it do? Other than a vague “machines are evil and scary” vibe, I can’t fathom any possible badness involved in this.
If you don’t like stickers with barcodes on your produce, then you’ll really hate this: Fruit Tattoos.
Basically, they have a laser that will etch it into the fruit/veggies, and in some cases a vegetable-based dye that will color it in (if just the laser-etching isn’t enough). I’m actually all for this, since I hate peeling those sticker off. Especially with softer fruits like pears/plums, where you end up leaving a big gouge where the sticker was.
Putting a barcode on an apple is technology and that’s why you don’t like it? I mean, yes, in the dictionary sense of applying scientific advancements to an industry, but…really? I could understand not liking genetically modified or irradiated fruit, because that’s actually in some way altering what you’re going to consume, but it’s not like UPCs are brand new and doing something scary to the flesh of your apples.
Actually, it wouldn’t be out of the question to print something using a fancy ink which is sensitive to the outgassing the fruit does as it ripens, and perhaps sensitive to the output products of spoilage as well. So you could have a stop-light looking thingy on the fruit where yellow means not ripe yet, green means peak of perfection, and red means past its prime.
But since the beneficiary would be the consumer and not the store, I doubt we’ll see much effort put into that particular innovation.
I was hoping this was the answer. I’ve done some work on traceability of computer components, and it is depressing that the food industry does this better than we do. I’ve read the standards for wine. You can, starting with the barcode on the bottle, trace all the grapes the wine was made from down to a few hundred meters at most, plus the cask it was aged in and its cork.