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Customer turns heads with video of device used in produce section of grocery store: 'It's so ridiculous'

"The product will go bad quicker."

"The product will go bad quicker."

Photo Credit: iStock

More and more buyers are seeing plastic waste in their products, including produce. Wrapping individual fruits and veggies in plastic is a growing phenomenon — and many stores haven't adapted to the pace of change. One shopper just showed the internet a nonsense setup in their local produce aisle that had commenters seeing red.

What happened?

In the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit, this user posted a photo taken in a Dutch supermarket. "A [mister] sprays its mist over food, all of which are covered in plastic," they said.

"The product will go bad quicker."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo showed shelves full of bell peppers, cucumbers, and eggplants. Each and every one was shrink-wrapped or sealed in a plastic bag. Despite that fact, the mister along the top of the shelf was actively running, with spray visible in the photo.

Why does the unnecessary misting matter?

Normally, a mister would keep unwrapped produce looking clean, fresh, and appealing. But if it lands on plastic, it just means the packaging gets wet. This is a waste of water in addition to the wastefulness of wrapping produce in polluting plastic.

As one commenter pointed out, the water could even damage the produce. "The plastic itself is a waste. Watering plastic is double waste. Oh and by the way, if water becomes trapped between the plastic and the product, the product will go bad quicker," they said.

That triple threat of waste — water waste, plastic waste, and food waste — drives up costs for the seller, which will be passed on to buyers in the form of higher prices. Plus, it's bad for the environment on all three fronts. The resources that went into food production are lost, putting more strain on the planet; the plastic causes pollution; and the vanishing water is an issue in a world of rising temperatures and spreading drought.

"I refuse to purchase plastic-wrapped produce and fruit," one fed-up commenter said. "It's so ridiculous, veggies and fruit have their own bloody protection."

Why might the store be misting its veggies even now?

While the photo did show several feet of shelving, it was still only a small part of the produce section. It's possible that there were unwrapped veggies on adjacent shelves — and that the misting system didn't allow store employees to turn off an individual mister.

Still, misting produce is a wasteful practice. As Food Republic reports, water doesn't keep veggies from going bad and may even make them spoil faster. Instead, stores use this practice to make items look more appealing — and possibly bump up the weight, sometimes increasing it by as much as 25%.

If those are the only reasons to run misters, it's about time stores turned them off for good.

What can I do about wasteful grocery store practices?

Whether you want to avoid waterlogged veggies or plastic wrap, your best bet is to grow your own food. If that isn't practical, you can buy from a store or local seller that doesn't mist produce or use plastic wrap.

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