A photo of a pre-cut avocado wrapped in plastic and boxed in cardboard has caused the latest online outrage when it comes to excessive food packaging, pitting consumer convenience against environmental concerns.
Earlier this month, the Twitterverse exploded over an image of a peeled orange in a plastic container sold at Whole Foods.
Avocados and oranges both grow in their own protective covering — the skin. Online users expressed anger at the ostensibly unnecessary and wasteful plastic packaging.
Last week, Christine Kizik posted a photo of a $3.99 pre-cut avocado on the Facebook page of Canadian grocer Sobeys Inc., saying she was “surprised and disappointed.”
“Avocado’s (sic) have their own perfect, compostable, wrapping. Adding packaging to an avocado is strange to say the least,” she wrote.
Sobeys defended the product.
“Thanks for sharing this with us Christine. This product was developed for people who might be new to using avocados and for a little more convenience,” the company said on Facebook. “It eliminates the guess work when it comes to ripeness and any challenges if you are not familiar with peeling and seeding a fresh avocado. The packaging is there to keep the fresh wholesome appearance and quality of the avocado without it browning prior to consumption.”
The Sobeys response garnered a flurry of angry social media posts.
“That is such a load of crock,” Marion Alyson Prokop posted.
Other comments ranged from criticizing the store for selling the product, to failing to educate consumers on how to cut an avocado, to criticizing buyers for being lazy.
“Dear Sobeys I hope you are planting trees and cleaning the ocean of this plastic too,” a user named Pete Soltesz wrote.
A handful of users have pointed out that foods like the pre-cut avocado and pre-peeled orange make preparing food easier for people who may have limited mobility.
“Also useful for people with disabilities who may have trouble opening avocados! I support this product,” Sabrina Scott commented on the avocado thread.
But it appears those customers are not the intended market for the Whole Foods orange, since the retailer later tweeted a photo of peeled oranges stored in mason jars, which have twist-off lids, with the label “is this more a-peeling?”
Whole Foods promised to pull the oranges from store shelves. Sobeys has yet to comment.
More to come.