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Supermarket fruit and veg

In these modern times of convenience,all kinds of fruit available at all times of the year etc.,are we paying the price for this with the interference of nature's natural rhythms?

Take peaches for example. I recently bought a pack at a well known supermarket,one of the big four. On getting home the peaches were like cricket balls,rock hard and clearly not ripe. I decided to leave them a few days,like you do,to ripen up. Imagine my surprise on finding they had turned to mush seemingly overnight. It was as though I had a very small window of opportunity in which to eat them.

This got me thinking about the reputed length of time in which these fruits are kept refrigerated. I've heard apples are kept at low temperatures for anything up to a year. If you look at the natural process involved with ripening fruit,that peach wants to either be eaten by some large herbivore and deposited with its ready made manure heap or allowed to rot. If us humans continually delay this natural process,does nature try to make up for lost time? Thus we get unripe peaches going rotten in what seems like hours rather than days or weeks. I've noticed the same with oranges,with the centre of them going brown very quickly once they are exposed to room temperature. Do other factors come into play when ripening is delayed for such duration? Do certain bacterias living on or in the fruit take advantage of this delay? Are we trying to alter tens of thousands of years of evolution in just the space of a few decades?



  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..supermarkets are all about appearances... doesn't matter what anything tastes like.   However, I don't worry unduly and always buy ready ripened fruit, even if it costs more.  You only get 4 to the pack, - so 2 for today and 2 tomorrow...

  • I think we have to remember that the world has to be fed and although for most of the idea of food with out interference would be nice ,it can not be .My self ,I try to eat fruit that we grow in this country in season and out of my garden or others. Of course they have to treat the veg and fruit as it would not keep and we need to feed a hungry world. lovely for some of us but not practical .image

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    I've found where I shop although the fruit and veg is relatively cheaper than the other big super markets it needs to be eaten within a week of purchase. Strawberries only seem to last a couple of days, in fact I can't eat shop bought one's unless eaten on the day of purchase the quality is just so poor after eating freshly picked one's.  

    This doesn't answer your Q but I've found mother nature is waiting around the corner to claim back what's her's and does it very quickly, I say that through witnessing it on the allotment just aquired this year. The whole plot was dug over and I've regularly weeded, covering some parts with weed membrane.

    I went on holiday for two weeks and the plot was covered knee high in weeds on my return. Even where there is weed membrane despite digging every bramble crown out they've grown through.

    I think some stuff isn't meant for long storage, even home grown, the quality isn't the best when eaten after freezing, pickling beetroot isn't the same as eating it hot with a nice sauce and the taste of onions is seriously effected when pickled.       

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929

    Produce is picked when it is under ripe,melons and pineapples are a prime example too.   Rock   hard and yet they  start to go bad from the inside  and if they are not left to ripen they are tasteless as well as being dry.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,732

    I now work for Waitrose. I love my job and the company but it galls me to see blueberries from Guatamala, avocados from Peru and even apples from New Zealand. But , and Mike says, it's all about Supply and Demand. Gone are the days of eating seasonal, locally produced fruit.

    The flip side is that for years we've told " developing countries " to " trade their way out of poverty" So after Kenya , for example, invests millions in infrastructure to produce crops, do we turn our back on them to save on " food miles"??

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,060

    I keep fruit in the fridge but just take out what I need for the day.

    Since my mum's been ill again, and I researched that she should be on a fruit diet(amongst other things as well of course) I buy a box of strawberries and one of grapes she only has a little of each, and these keep the whole week in the fridge. Pears go soft in the bowl, but thats ok. Apples keep for ages. Fresh pineapple, in the fridge keeps for 2 weeks.

    If I dont take it out early in the morning, it is tasteless, but leaving it for an hour or two and the sugars break down, its soft and tasty.

    She doesnt like it mind, they were never brought up with fruit, lucky to get a meal!

    I wouldnt think it upsets the balance of nature though, its still picked as it grows, just kept for a year.

    I think we are very lucky to be able to buy all the exotic friuts and it does help the people in far off countries.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,838

    You don't have to buy fruit and veg that have come from half way round the world and you don't have to buy out of season either.

    We all surely know that eating seasonally and freshly picked is best for nutritional and taste levels in our fruit and veg and also best for reducing energy consumption in producing and supplying it.    There are lots of recipes on BBC Food and BBC Good Food and other sites so we can vary our dishes and don't have to get bored with seasonal gluts.

    When it comes to melons and peaches and fruits that don't do well locally I find it's best to buy them ready to eat in small quantities and eat them within a day or two.

    The problem for me with buying produce grown in 3rd world countries is that they require enourmous resources of water and chemicals to grow and clean and pack and I just think they'd be better off growing local food to feed local people at reasonable prices and thus free the labour for something with greater added value which would benefit their economy.  I also fear that a lot of these companies are globally owned which means profits are not re-invested locally and taxes paid are probably minimal so no support for government social or economic projects either.


    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Oh dear, it is such a minefield. Paid employment in some countries enables children to have a good diet and education. If none of us bought fruit and vegetables from abroad many more people would suffer.

    I do try and buy seasonally (no asparagus from Peru, for instance) and home grown, or FairTrade but I have not found a suitable substitute for bananas, lemons and oranges yet.

    Funnily enough the spread of mobile phones has been a great driver in many countries as it enables farmers to access markets more efficiently and get better prices for their crops.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,838

    Oh yes, Fair Trade for coffee and lemons and chocolate.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • But the Question still is how you feed 63 million people plus in this country with fresh food if not food it s self ,the logistics of it alone for a city is massive. I agree its nice to eat home grown food nothing better,but it would not feed us all and other countries need our trade too,not as simple as it sounds to feed a hungry world.image

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