More On The Fruits And Nuts Who Regulate Fruits And Nuts

There’s a great article in the Washington Post about the European Union’s ridiculous fruit and vegetable regulations.

Reading it leads me to a question. How can anybody possibly stand living there? I know government is horrible everywhere for all kinds of reasons, but lord love a duck, just look at some of this crap!

Consider the Class I cucumber, which must be “practically straight (maximum height of the arc: 10 mm per 10 cm of the length of cucumber).” Translation: A six-inch cucumber cannot bend more than six-tenths of an inch. Following 16 pages of regulations on apples (Class I must be at least 60mm, or 2 1/3 inches, in diameter) come 19 pages of amendments outlining the approved colors for more than 250 kinds.

As for peaches, “to reach a satisfactory degree of ripeness . . . the refractometrix index of the flesh, measured at the middle point of the fruit pulp at the equatorial section must be greater than or equal to 8° Brix.”

Let’s consider the onion for a moment, and the E.U.’s “Regulation (EEC) No 2213/83 of 28 July 1983 laying down quality standards for onions and witloof chicory.” You would think that the 10 pages of standards and the 19 amendments and corrections made in the 25 years since the regulation’s enactment would leave little doubt about the required size, shape and color of an onion, and the amount of peeling, bruising, staining, cracking, root tufting and sprouting that is permissible. You would be wrong.

In January 2007, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture issued a report in which it took 29 pages to explain “quality standards for onions,” complete with 43 photographs.

Come to think of it, I have another question. How did this happen? It seems impossible that somebody one day decided that he couldn’t tell what was and was not a good piece of fruit just by touching and looking at it and thought the best thing to do would be to get the authorities involved. I’d like to think in spite of everything I’ve written here that as a society we hold a little bit of intellectual superiority over fly shit, but it appears the world won’t even allow me that much. Thanks a lot, Europe!

If anybody needs me,I’ll be weeping into a bowl of unregulated strawberries. It won’t make me feel any better, but at least it’ll give them something to do besides rot in a garbage can.

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