It's Recess-time Somewhere

Proud Member of the Reality-Based Sandbox

July 19, 2005

Tattoo You

This just doesn't seem right.

A pear is just a pear, except when it is also a laser-coded
information delivery system with advanced security clearance.

And that is what pears - not to mention organic apples, waxy cucumbers
and delicate peaches - are becoming in some supermarkets around the
country. A new technology being used by produce distributors employs
lasers to tattoo fruits and vegetables with their names, identifying
numbers, countries of origin and other information that helps speed
distribution. The marks are burned onto the outer layer of the skin and
are visible to discerning consumers and befuddled cashiers alike.

By creating another middle-man, a high-tech process like this, is sure to either make the price of food go up or take more money away from local farmers and growers. If grocery stores start requiring the tattoos on any produce that they purchase, the small farms are really in trouble. The set up cost for this equipment may be too expensive for some smaller operations and could drive them out of business.

I know what you're thinkin'. But think of the public and how awful it is to have to peel off those stickers.

"I was picking all the little stickers from the Piggly Wiggly off my
plums and my avocado pears and my peaches," said Ms. Lemeaux, 76.
"Then I had to make fruit salad out of the ones that got hurt when I
took the stickers off, and then I had to wash the glue off the other ones
before I put them in the fruit bowl."

"One time," she said, "I got up the next morning and looked in the mirror
and there were two of them up in my hair."

It's a small price to pay to feed the world, but we all need to do our part, Ms. Lemeaux.

And you never know what could happen next. It's that slippery slope of tattoo identification....

First they came for the cauliflower, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a cauliflower;
Then they came for the scallions, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a scallion;
Then they came for the vidalia onions, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a vidalia onion;
Then they came for the cherries, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a cherry;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

And as a side note, check out these tomatos.


  • At July 19, 2005, Blogger rod said…

    I think this fruit tattoo thing would be a lot more appealing if the tattoos said things like "I Heart Apples," or "Luv 'N' Hate," or "Mom," or something. Then we could somehow insert ourselves into the romantic imagination of fruits and vegetables and cheer them on as they tell us about their relationships and other travails. The day I find a pear tattooed with "Thug Life 4Ever" will be the happiest day of my life, no doubt.

  • At July 19, 2005, Blogger cookie christine said…

    Yes, but then what happens when we place the tattooed banana and the tattooed peach in the same fruit bowl? Then what?

    Anarchy? Mayhem? A Revolution?

    And what if, heaven forbid, two bananas are left alone to their own devices? I'm just sure those in the fertile bible belt areas would disapprove.

  • At July 19, 2005, Blogger rod said…

    Then there would either be some kind of bacchanal involving the procreation of apples and oranges, or some kind of east coast/west coast fruit/vegetable throwdown. It's a win-win.


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