Food Packaging Lessons From a Roadside Fruit Stand

A country man and his inner-city Little Brother discuss differing opinions in food packaging and fruit labels at a roadside fruit stand.

| February/March 1998

Anthony studied the fruit and vegetables laid out on the planks of a makeshift roadside fruit stand. He glanced at the money box with the thank-you card taped on its side and the stack of reusable bags next to it. Then he made a beeline back to my car, slammed the door and turned up the radio. What's happening here, I wondered?

I'm Anthony's Big Brother. Once a week I spend the day with him—away from his inner-city neighborhood. Our ride in the country was going fine until I stopped for fruit.

"Here. Have some cherries," I offered as we drove away.

Anthony took one look at the crumpled reusable bag of sweet black cherries. "No way," he said. "You don't know where those came from. Besides, what kind of people leave food out in front of their house and expect you to pay for it on your honor?"

We rode in silence for a while. I knew that if I kept quiet, he would eventually tell me what was on his mind.

Finally, Anthony opened up. "Fruit is supposed to come in little trays with a plastic wrapper over it and a food tag that tells what it is and how much it costs. Then you take it to the checkout and you pay and they give you a receipt. That's the way it's supposed to be."

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