inedible oranges


To the Linewaiters’ Gazette:

This letter is not about politics, veganism vs. animal consumption, genetic modification vs. anti GMO, Palestine, etc. It is actually about a particular food we sell! I have often bought organic Valencia oranges at the Coop. They were always juicy, very flavorful, the right balance of acidic and sweet, and generally small-to-medium sized. At my most recent visit I bought what were purported to be Valencias. They were enormous (the size of a typical grapefruit), with absolutely no flavor, no sweetness nor acidity, and were completely dried out. In short, they were literally inedible and had to be thrown out. Are these the same Valencias? Do we not have discretion when there is a truly awful batch of fruit to refuse the purchase? I am quite certain that the ones I purchased were not “bad apples” (i.e., bad oranges), since I have noticed for years that very large oranges tend to lack in flavor and juiciness. Admittedly that should have given me sufficient warning (caveat emptor!), but I didn’t see any navels or other oranges for sale. I understand that produce, especially organic, can vary considerably in taste quality, and I expect and accept that occasionally I might end up eating something that is not great. But when something is so bad that it literally cannot be swallowed, and there is a full tray of them for sale to other Coop members, it seems to me that some protocol should have prevented that. 

Michael Esterowitz