Deborah Ross: The great con that is 'ripe and ready' fruit

If you ask me...

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If you ask me I believe that, as a nation, we need to sit down and decide what we think about "ripe and ready" fruit as sold by the supermarkets at a premium. You may consider this a trivial matter. You may say there are more important things happening in the world. You may even add: "I'm a busy person and do not have time for this. I'm going to turn to the stock market reports and then shout: 'SELL COPPER!' at somebody", which is fair enough. But if I had to reply I would reply with this: "Do you really want to be the sort of person who sells copper while all manner of soft fruits are running circles round you, and having the last laugh? Do you?"

Listen, and listen good: Isn't ripe and ready fruit something supermarkets should be selling in the first place? Isn't it their job to sell us food we can actually eat? And what does it say about the alternative? That tub of peaches, which may as well be labelled: "This fruit is neither ripe nor ready but may be ripe at some point, just as it may be ready at some point, although can we specify when this point might be? No, we cannot. You must accept that ripeness and readiness can only occur at an unspecified time in the future if, that is, these peaches ripen and ready themselves at all. Some fruit simply refuses, in which case you are probably better off putting your money in the wastepaper basket and setting fire to it." Of course, they might wish to shorten the label to: "Highly Unlikely To Ever Be Edible, But Thank You For Thinking Of Us."

Why do we put up with it? Imagine if your butcher worked like this. Imagine if you asked your butcher for four lamb chops and your butcher said: "Here are four lamb chops, although will they be suitable for eating by Thursday? I really couldn't say. You'll have to take a blind punt on it, love. Or you could pay double for these other lamb chops, which are good to go. I know, pricey, but do you want to actually consume the food you buy or not? Next!"

So it's a nonsense, it's enraging, it's a scandal, it's a rip-off and what do I say we should do? I say that, as a nation, we should rise up against ripe and ready fruit sold at a premium and if we are not ready to rise up today, how about next Tuesday? No? Not even if you put yourself in a brown paper bag on the windowsill overnight? I agree; never works.

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