These Oranges at Whole Foods are What’s Wrong with Society

March 8, 2016   |   admintam

Julie Fidler
March 8, 2016

(NATURALSOCIETY) If you go to a Whole Foods Market – like pretty much any other market – you’ll see aisles of packaged fruit and vegetables, but one particular product had people up in arms on social media last week. People complained so hard about that particular product that Whole Foods ended up pulling it from shelves.

oranges

Plastic containers containing peeled oranges had people absolutely furious, and it all started with one little sentence. A woman named Nathalie Gordon tweeted a photo of the oranges on Twitter March 3rd with this snarky comment.

The photo has been favorited and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times. 

But these weren’t just oranges. These were Sumo tangerines, which is a fairly rare find as citrus fruits go. And they were “just” $5.99 per pound. That price may sound excessive, but if you look at Gordon’s photograph of the orange globes, you’ll see that the packaging boasts they were “Made Right Here.” No, those babies weren’t peeled in some God-awful sweatshop on another continent, they were peeled by local Millennials right there at the store, and rumor has it that makes them taste much sweeter!

But that’s neither here nor there, because the focus of social media users’ ire was the unnecessary plastic packaging. I mean, Whole Foods is supposed to be all about environmental stewardship. Take a look at the company’s core values sometime.  One of its purported “Wise Environmental Practices” is this:

“Reducing waste and consumption of non-renewable resources. We promote and participate in recycling programs in our communities. We are committed to re-usable packaging, reduced packaging, and water and energy conservation.”

So furious were the angry online hoards that Whole Foods eventually responded back to Gordon with this:

wholefoods2-400x165

Consumers were miffed at Whole Foods last year, too, when the company started selling its Asparagus Water – literally just water with a few stalks of asparagus in it – for $6 a pop. And like the Sumo tangerines packaged in earth-destroying plastic, the company nixed that product, too.

But some people are now pointing their anger at Gordon rather than at Whole foods, arguing that the pre-peeled oranges were helpful to the elderly and people with disabilities. From the looks of it, just as many people are ticked off about Whole Foods pulling the peeled oranges from store shelves as there were people who were ticked off about them being there in the first place.

Why the oranges caused a ruckus and not other packaged produce is anyone’s guess because, when you think about it, all fruit comes enrobed in its own natural “packaging” and Whole Foods sells other produce packaged in plastic – including sliced oranges. What, people can’t slice their own watermelon or cantaloupe?

It just goes to show the power of an image, and a little well-placed sarcasm.


This article (These Oranges at Whole Foods are What’s Wrong with Society) originally appeared on NaturalSociety.com and was used with permission. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Natural Society. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: admintam

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24 Comments

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  3. Not everyone can eat a whole watermelon or cantelope before it spoils – so slicing them DOES make sense. But peeling an orange and putting it into a plastic container is ridiculous. As for the elderly and the disabled – if they can get an implement to their mouth by themselves in order to eat, they can eat an orange. They can slice it themselves or even cut it in half and eat it that way – shoot we even used to have competitions to keep the HALF PEEL intact after eating the fruit by turning it inside out. And if they need help feeding themselves, then the help can peel the damn orange. I understand totally why the woman made the comment. While the oceans are literally being choked to death by PLASTIC, the "ease" of not having to peel your own orange is a crime, not a convenience.

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  4. When I asked one of the Whole Foods employees to chew it, first, and then spit it into my mouth, like a bird feeding its offspring, they said absolutley not, but that they were thinking about it.

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  5. Not going to disagree with that, but it shouldn't be a matter of forcing a grocery store to pull products because of their packaging as much as the focus of replacing the plastic with better packaging…. biodegradeable, etc.

    Right now plastic is the winner economically, likely because of how subsidized the oil industry (plastic industry) is. Take away the governments ability to pick winners and losers and let the people decide.

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  6. Billy Sayre Very true, for the packaging that is required we do need better packaging with less pollution potential, but doing stupid crap like peeling an orange and putting it into a plastic container isn't necessary whatever the type of packaging you choose, environmental or not. It still wastes precious resources on our planet and NOTHING is 100% recyclable – so why bother doing crap like this when it's so totally unnecessary?? And no one "forced" them to pull the product, they just got caught being airheads and fessed up more or less and corrected the problem.

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  7. While we are at it, why do shoppers shuck corn in the store? Keeping it intact keeps it fresher until you are ready to use it.

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  8. FYI, for those of you who have never had one… They peel super easy(they are large tangerines with a thick peel). No reason regardless of age to have them pre-peeled. Stupidest idea they've ever had.

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  9. I always wondered why shoppers do that, as well. As for my personal preference, it is the same for corn and oranges: the longer my food is intact and protected naturally, the happier I am with it. I will open the package when I am ready to accept the gift.

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  13. After working for them for more than 25 years, I can assure you that the person in the back, doing the peeling isn't a millenial. More like a Hispanic? At $5.99 a pound, that is $2.00 more a pound for an unpeeled one. Sure, I know that you have to figure in the cost of labor and packaging, but $6 for conventional fruit, when Sumo's can weigh in at least a pound, is absurd!

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  14. If your old and can't peel a fruit maybe you shouldn't be living on your own. So that being said for the elderly and handicap that can't they commonly will have someone help them

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  15. Why don't you try your arm in a cast and shove the orange between your legs and try to peel it. Not everything is as simple as you like to believe.

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  16. Nancy Keith Hanson all the reason you would have someone there to help. Smh

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  18. I buy the individually wrapped potatoes that are microwave ready. Just unwrap poke holes and microwave. Only . 79 cents

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  19. Besides being brutally behind in this conversation compared to the speed at which the internet rolls, this article is more flippant and hostile than most. Who might need pre-packaged food? http://www.upworthy.com/the-side-to-the-whole-foods-peeled-oranges-conversation-you-didnt-see
    People with disabilities need a lot of "conveniences" people without said disabilities neglect to think of, because they don't have to. Perhaps we can dialogue about how to make things accessible AND sustainable, rather than ramble with entitlement.

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