I hate fruit stickers

You know what really bothers me? It’s when every single piece of fruit you buy has a sticker tightly affixed to it. And I mean tightly: tighter than Donald Trump and Putin. Despite rumors to the contrary, those stickers aren’t edible.  After lunch today I was all set to have a nice, tart Granny Smith apple that, as usual, was marred by a fruit sticker. This one was on tight, too, so when I removed it a piece of the apple peel came with it (picture below). Somehow that ruined my mood. The apple was besmirched.

A while back I heard that they were replacing these stickers with laser-embossed tags that simply inscribed the skin of the fruit. So far I haven’t seen one of them. I suppose there’s a reason for the paper things, but I don’t know what it is. Surely the human mind can devise a fruit-marking system better than this.

You want thoughtful content today? Too bad—my brain isn’t working.

 

88 Comments

  1. Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    They have a different type of sticker for bananas. The edges won’t stick to the banana, but stick tightly to your fingers when you try to peel it.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be easier just to peel the banana than to peel the sticker from the banana peel?

      I mean, unless you’re eating (or smoking 🙂 ) the peel.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        But if you’re recycling the peel, you have to get the plastic gobbet off it first!

        • Posted October 1, 2018 at 1:27 am | Permalink

          Yes – I have noticed that the fruit stickers that (inadvertently) go into my compost bin can be found in more or less perfect condition when you dig out the compost.

          I guess that the labels on fruit that is sold loose allow the person on the check-out to know which variety they should be charging for (I am assuming they can tell an apple from an orange or a banana but perhaps they cannot reliably identify a Granny Smith from a Cox’s Orange Pippin for example).

  2. freiner
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    With Granny Smiths this is actually pretty easy. Soak the apple in a medium sea-salt brine for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then allow that to come slowly to a rolling boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Allow it to dry in sunshine (northern light is best)and then place in a brown paper bag for, say 10 minutes. Carefully try to lift the label along the narrowest edge with stainless steel tweezers. If there is still some adhesion, repeat the above process.

    • freiner
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Warning: DO NOT try this with a McIntosh. For heaven’s sake, do not try this with a McIntosh.

      • Taz
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

        • Dian MacPherson
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          OMG I haven’t thought about happy fun ball for ages!

      • Posted September 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        No worries there. I can’t even find a McIntosh apple any more. The last one I had was from a batch I bought at my local Ralphs. When I went back a week later to buy some more, they kind of chuckled and told me that the McIntoshes from the week before had been a mistake. So frustrating as they are by far my favorite apple.

        • Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          That’s not good Paul. Where I live, near New York city, McIntosh apples are fairly easy to find. They are my second favorite, after Winesap (Stayman) apples, which are sometimes easy to get here but for a much shorter time than McIntosh.

    • ploubere
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      How conveeeenient.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      You left out the part about swinging the paper bag around your head at least half a dozen times. No wonder you have to repeat the process.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Lol and if the wet apple flies through the bottom of the bag, just get another apple & start the process all over again.

        • Mike
          Posted October 1, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

          Your all wrong, “I got this off a Ghanaian News Website” you have to contact a Fetish Priest, who will dowse the Apple in Schnapps before covering the Sticker with a few drops of Blood from a freshly slaughtered Goat, you then leave te Apple in a darkened room for 2 hrs and the label just drops off, piece of cake, unfortunately it doesn’t work with Granny Smiths, only Braeburns.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 1, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Does the goat have to be a virgin (you know, like Brett Kavanaugh was in prep school and “for many years thereafter”)?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 1, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

              Yes & it helps if it keeps a calendar & works out with Squi.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Or pick your own.

      • freiner
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        The problem with picking your own is that you then have to find a label somewhere to put on it.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          🤣

        • rickflick
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          True. So true.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Big Agriculture’s workin’ on a new GMO variety that grows its own stickers.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            They transplant a gene from a book of stamps.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

              Or a box of bandaids.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted September 30, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

                Those are guaranteed to fall off easily, then.

                cr

          • Posted October 1, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            I’ve heard of “genetic barcoding”, but …

    • dabertini
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Hahahahahahaha. I almost tried that, but then decided it was too much work.

    • Diane G
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      “…this is actually pretty easy…”

      LOL! Perfect send-up–I hate that kind of article, esp. the recipes you can “whip up in just 20 minutes” that have a list of ingredients as long as my arm…

  3. ploubere
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you. Why do we tolerate a product sticker that damages the product?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      I have a Granny Smith apple most days. Maybe we use different stickers, but they come off really easily – so easily that it would be impossible for a bit of peel to come away too. They have a wee tag at one end that doesn’t stick at all, and you pull from there.

      The stickers still annoy me though.

  4. alexandra Moffat
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! Us, too. Maybe everybody should, when they buy fruit, remove the sticker and stick it somewhere in the store. protest is badly needed…

    • rickflick
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      It might be more effective to put some in an envelope and mail them to the corporation specified on the box.

  5. FB
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The main problem with fruit stickers is that you never know if they go in the recycling bag or the other.

  6. tomh
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    “Maybe everybody should, when they buy fruit, remove the sticker and stick it somewhere in the store.”

    Good idea. Make things harder for workers who have nothing to do with why the stickers are there.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you. For most produce it doesn’t matter since the peel isn’t eaten, but I especially hate these stickers on fragile stone fruit (the best fruit of the year). Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots…don’t get me started! Those fragile skins always get mangled when removing said sticker. Argh!

  8. Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    You’re not alone. Somebody’s even written a song about it:

  9. Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I hate them too. I also hate it when I don’t have them. Like when I somehow manage to pick out the only piece of fruit that doesn’t have one, and I have to cool my heels at the cashier while someone tracks down the bar code.

  10. mordacious1
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I was just complaining about this a few days ago. A new store opened near me last week. One of the things they had to get you in the door, was all their apples were 99 cents/lb. I bought several pounds. The plan was to rinse them and place them in my large fruit bowl on the table, but of course, I couldn’t remove those blasted stickers without destroying the fruit. So now I have a bowl of sticker covered fruit. Bah!!

    Oh…and get off Jerry’s lawn!

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s a pain; I do it almost every afternoon. Now I’ll never be able do it again without thinking of this post.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Well at least you have a good excuse for not doing something else. “Hey Ken, want to come to lunch with me?” “No, I’d love to, but I have to pick the stickers off all these apples I bought”.

  12. Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Those stickers drive me nuts!! I thought I was the only one. Thanks for the post!

  13. Lynn Wilhelm
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I hate these things too, but I think I may have figured out that they are easiest to remove before washing the fruit. They always seem to stick better when the fruit is wet. I’m not sure if letting the fruit and sticker dry before trying to remove makes a difference.
    I do not wash or try to remove stickers on delicate peaches or pears until ready to eat and I try to remember to remove the sticker before washing.

  14. Christopher
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    There are people who actually COLLECT the damn things. Yes, for every damn dumb thing humans produce, there are other humans who obsessively collect those things. I believe I saw this on the CBS Sunday Morning show earlier this year.

  15. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    One day, Jerry is going to be in a line at the grocery store only to buy one tart Granny Smith apple 🍏. He will patiently wait while people with heaps of groceries ahead of him rudely refuse to offer him to go ahead of them. Then, after he gets home, he will have to struggle with the apple sticker. I know these double injustices will one day coincide.

  16. rickflick
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve often grabbed a peach, pealed off the sticker, and now I have a peach in one hand and a sticker stuck to the index fingernail of the other hand. I have to find a way to get the sticker off and put it somewhere. I refuse to put the peach down, I’m stubborn that way. So I end up pressing my finger sideways against the sink to transfer the damn thing. Now I can eat my peach. I have to remember to attend to the several stickers that accumulate on the sink. What a revolting thing they are.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I do the same. I think the desire to hold the peach is some sort of drive to efficiency.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Or, maybe we feel we are RESISTING!

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Check out this recipe:

    1. Chopped macintosh – no substitutes. Probably freshly chopped is essential.
    2. Put in a cereal bowl or final serving bowl
    3. ~ 1 part nutmeg
    4. ~10 parts cinnamon ( still experimenting with this)
    5. 40 seconds or so in microwave
    6. Add extras like whipped cream
    7. Chow down on “ pie-less apple pie”
    8. Repeat as needed

    This is _fast_ – slowest part is chopping. “You have to try it”.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      We do something like this with old blackened bananas. Maple syrup can give it a kick.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        I see. I’ll remember that.

        The scalar bosons – not so much.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted October 1, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          The only scalar boson is the … take a wild guess …the Higgs.

          I think that’s correct.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 1, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Banana custard is my go-to if the bananas get a bit grotty.

  18. David Coxill
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Who is the old fart in the photo?

    • Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes.

      • freiner
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        World class complainer and eyebrow-grower.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted October 1, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          Obviously Denis Healey never lowered his attention eyebrows to that competition.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Gandalf when he took a desk job. The Mahogany Wizard. That’s what he became.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Hahahahaha!!

  19. Wayne Robinson
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone actually eat the sticker?

    I’m just asking, because I do. I eat everything – the skin, the core, the seeds. Even the stalk. If it came in a paper bag, I’d probably eat the bag too. I’ve done this for years, if not decades, and haven’t come to any harm.

    I know it’s just an anecdote, but really are stickers on apples worth worrying about?

    • rickflick
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know if the stickers are harmful or not, but your practice of eating the core and seeds reminded me of research on deposited of human excreta. I think from Elizabethan England. They found that, back then, people generally ate most anything. Fish heads was an item I remember. I’m sure they would have had no trouble with apple cores. I avoid them.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 1, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Fish heads would have been eaten. And pretty much any parasites in the fish. And the parasites in anything else on the menu too. Coprolite archaeology is largely an exercise in fossil parasitology.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Come to think of it, the early history of humans(and other animals) must have been a long painful story of parasitism. It’s hard to imagine many individuals who would not have picked up worms, lice, or other vermin in and on their bodies. To a large degree we must have become adapted to the extra load. Today, however, our defenses may have been weakened by the use of medicine and sanitation. I’ll have my fish heads well done, if you don’t mind.

    • mdeschane
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      And use the stem,if it came with one, to pick your teeth.

      Our Dear Host’s bilious rant seems a bit over the top to me, with all due respect to hizonner. His link to “those stickers aren’t edible” drops in on an eagle basking in shallow water with geese commenting in the background.

      If the stickers were not edible, product liability lawyers would be swarming.

      Have a great day Dr. Coyne and company.

      * sarcasm may have leaked in here and there.

      • Posted September 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        If you think this lighthearted post was “over the top” (the picture of Andy Rooney should have been a clue), keep it to yourself. I don’t appreciate comments like this, as they add nothing to the discussion.

        • mdeschane
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, too much wine not enough thought, and poor choice of words.

      • Posted October 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure that they are *biologically* edible, like shrimp tails and small amounts of dog hair. But that doesn’t make them *psychologically* edible to a lot of us. 🙂

  20. grasshopper
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of fruit … agricultural selection of varieties seems to catering to the human penchant for sweet dietary noms.

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/zoo-won-t-panda-to-taste-says-fruit-s-too-sweet-for-its-monkey-menu-20180928-p506lb.html

  21. Posted September 30, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The fruit stickers I see have a little part with no adhesive that can be used to peel the whole thing off. Assuming I notice that there is one present, which can be a problem, peeling it off has never been difficult in my experience.

    I assume they are there so the checker can tell one kind of fruit from another, probably to identify the price and perhaps to track inventory.

  22. Posted September 30, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Triple YES! I always seem to get sticky sticker residue stuck sometimes.

  23. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a failure of adhesive technology. I’ve never had a problem. Maybe in NZ we have superior glue (yeah right).

    The stickers I really loathe are the ones you get on book covers and DVD’s. Ever try getting one of those off a glossy dust jacket without leaving fingernail scores in the jacket, and messy adhesive residues? Can’t use kerosene or other solvents because it will wash out the printing on the jacket. Though if the sticker tears and leaves a thin layer of paper and adhesive there is a handy trick – get some masking tape and apply it to the spot, rub it down firmly with a fingernail, and gently lift off. This may need doing several times but will eventually lift off all traces of paper and glue. But in all this, much patience is required.

    I’ve often felt the urge to say to the shop assistant, “I’ll buy it – if you take your stickers off without damaging the cover”. But I’ve never had the time or the balls to do that, and besides it’s not that assistant’s fault, it’s some marketroid who thinks their vandalism somehow adds value to the product.

    cr

  24. Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I thought they were supposed to be doing away with stickers! There was a case of a little girls who got one stuck in her esophagus and tissue started to grow over it forming a actual tumor which started to restrict her swallowing! Sad! 😦

  25. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to share how to cut apples with minimal waste:

    Stage 1:
    Cut on the apple where you guess the stem is growing from. Try to pop it out.repeat if you missed. This is fun to get better at.

    Stage 2:
    Continue slicing discs off either end – perpendicular to the stem axis – until you get to the seed area. It’s usually five or sixfold symmetric.

    Stage 3:
    The disc with the seeds remains. The next task I take to be cutting from the center out to the edge, resting the knife in the cusp of each seed chamber at the start of the cut. This should produce five triangles with the seeds stuck on the tips.

    Stage 4
    Trim off the tips with seeds and a tad of that hard shell stuff. Waste should be five seeds and a stem. Usually a bit of the hard stuff but you can just eat it too.

    Cheers

  26. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 30, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    “Nature & More” [aka Eosta] of Waddinxveen, the Netherlands; who import, export, pack and distribute fresh organic fruits and vegetables to all over the world, use machine readable laser labelling of the skin of individual pieces of fruit/veg. They’ve saved fortunes dispensing with all plastics in their labelling, tagging & packaging.

    It is an interesting problem – how to product code items while dispensing entirely with cashiers [there will no be cashiers in UK supermarkets within five years I estimate]. The future will be with the technology that can read an entire trolley or basket without removing items from the basket/trolley – I predict intelligent baskets/trolleys & no cashiers – just a few packers hanging around for those who need the help. Laser labelling probably isn’t up to the job – I hope RFID tagging [little passive aerials] doesn’t become the standard>

    • Posted September 30, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Organic RFID stickers that can be digested?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Edible RFID tags have existed for some years – a new idea is to ‘print’ the tags inside the veg/fruit to make them impossible to remove & also it does away with glues. The aerial elements for edible tagging are made of harmless graphene.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted October 1, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        Time for the tinfoil girdle

    • rickflick
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Of course the technology is all driven by economics. You can think of it as a landscape with hills and valleys – more or less optimal – you’ve seen this scheme before. The problem is, you can get stuck on a hill that’s not the best available. A nearby hill would be better, but it’s separated from your current hill by a deep valley. So, with checkout automation, here in the states, they’ve come up with self-checkout. This makes the customer responsible for doing all the work of scanning, entering codes where necessary, etc. Once this becomes more universal, there will be no need for engineers to develop more sophisticated automation. See? You’re stuck on this hill because it has free, if frustrated, labor. The corporation rests on it’s laurels.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Self check-out is in Europe too. All the major supermarkets have it running alongside conventional checkouts. It isn’t liked except for small purchases.

        It isn’t a separate hill in a landscape of solutions for us over here because our environment is totally different – cost per Sq metre of retail space is MUCH higher here in densely populated Europe. This cost is manageable in “Grade A” retail sites in big cities with massive foot traffic & inflated retail pricing – say Oxford St, London, but absolutely everywhere else retailers are desperate to increase gross profit per square metre. Chopping out ALL the checkouts of all types gives 10% extra space for a cafe or to rent to another operation.

        You’ve got a zombie mall apocalypse running in the US with anchor stores sinking – that is coming our way so local authorities will respond by INCREASING business rates on the survivors [crazy, but true]. We can expect a mass shedding of retail workers in an environment with real wages going down – shops are going to ruthlessly cut costs now after a terrible retail xmas. Smiling human cashiers are already the walking dead. 🙂

        • rickflick
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Well, we can all order on Amazon and have a drone drop your dozen eggs and carton of milk on the front steps. 😎

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 30, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            What’s the doggie in the avatar named? Is that a mailman’s arm? What’s the gender neutral single word for that? We can say “postie”.

      • Diane G
        Posted September 30, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        And you scan your first item and the screen reads, “please see cashier…”

        • rickflick
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

          I get the feeling these helpers are teachers with master’s degrees trying to augment income. They are there to train us so they won’t be needed. 😎

        • Posted October 1, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          Exactly!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 1, 2018 at 3:06 am | Permalink

        I always use the self checkout when I can. It’s a big advantage for small purchases because you don’t have to wait behind some trolley full of stuff. But it’s only suitable for small purchases because the packing shelf where you have to deposit all your goodies after scanning only has limited space.

        cr

        • rickflick
          Posted October 1, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          They’re just priming us for when they expand the goodies shelf. They eventually want us to stock the shelves and sweep the floors at night.

  27. Posted October 1, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  28. Andrea Kenner
    Posted October 2, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Get off my lawn!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted October 2, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      You Shall Not Pass!…. on my lawn!

  29. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 14, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I just realized

    The tote bags with apples can have apples without stickers.

    Make sure PCC(E) Rooney gets this!


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] I hate fruit stickers […]

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: