January 25, 2012

Apple Protection

I usually don't take photos of people.

"People aren't scenery," Big Sister told me when I started this blog. Papa, teachers and parents were worried about privacy and safety. And he reminded me, "You are easily found."

But I had to document this. Sorry the photo is blurry. It was taken in a hurry with the iphone. You can't really see what this grocery store clerk is doing. I was trying to protect her identity.

She's putting those little pink plastic skirts on the apples. I thought the apples were shipped that way to protect them. So, no, after making their way to the store the apples are protected from people bruising them while picking over them and taking them home!

But, wait, note the comment section below. A reader suggested that the skirts are for hygiene purposes. I'd never thought of that! Probably because I take the skirts off to look at the bottom of the fruit to check to see how green it is at the base. I've never noticed anyone else do that. Even though there was a time when they stopped using the skirts and there were some bad apples in the bunch (bin). So, they're either protecting the apples from bruises or germs.

A bag of pink plastic skirts.

I've noticed apples and grapefruit wear pink plastic skirts. Green apples, pears and nashi wear green plastic skirts. Click on the labels below for more posts.

Check out the comment section, too.


Kaneko said...

are they really to protect them from people taking them, or could it be to stop people touching them direct ...some sort of hygiene protection in the same way some places give you gloves to pick up your fruit??

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Thank you, thank you, Kaneko for your comment! I neglected to put a crucial piece of info. in a sentence. I added it and highlighted it.

I thought the apples are protected from bruising! but you are right. t is for hygiene, too, I'm sure!

MoreThingsJapanese said...

Many Japanese fruits are packaged especially. I think in this case, the apples have cardboard separators in their transport boxes, but what about in your shopping bag? The skirts might be to keep them safe in your bag on the way home too! Or in case you want to give them as omiyage.

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

We've received fruit as gifts that are packaged with cardboard separators and skirts, etc. But we have also received fruit in bulk that were boxed altogether. It depends on the quality of the fruit, I guess.

This box at the grocery store was quality Fuji apples in bulk. No protection in the box. Unfortunately, I didn't get close enough to take a photo of that.

Actually, I've been here too long to get by with giving grocery store apples. Fruit shops and department stores or mail order would be the best route. Neighbor to neighbor I might get by with it, but even my father-in-law preferred that I buy them department store strawberries to show my appreciation for something. Times may be changing. More grocery stores. Few Mom and Pop fruit shops.

MoreThingsJapanese said...

Yes, there are definitely "gift" fruits.. no blemishes, nice packaging, 3-4x the price, and not all that tasty I think. I'm lucky enough to have a bit of space. So I garden and then give THAT away.. or make some food and invite people over.

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Wonderful! Wish we were neighbors!