The internet is notorious for its ability to find something that seems crazy or ridiculous and start a war of comments, tweets, and rage over seemingly innocuous topics.
The latest item that the internet has chosen to fight over? Pre-peeled, pre-halved avocados.
This product, created by California-based avocado grower/distributor Calavo last year, was first introduced in Canadian grocery store Sobeys last March. Today picked up on a scathing review of Sobeys back then, which triggered a round of Internet comments and feedback on whether this product should exist.
Yesterday, the war was reinitiated by Gizmodo, who released a brutal attack piece on the company following the above tweet by Junk Food Guys' Eric Huang. Huang sharply criticized Calavo for wrapping and sealing a product that already has its own natural seal — the skin.
Sobeys had explained the purpose of the packaging, saying that it was designed to eliminate any guesswork on the ripeness or freshness of an avocado prior to peeling, whilst also preventing the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown. Gizmodo, however, disagreed with the grocery store:
"But to anyone who’s ever bravely bought and consumed an avocado without any prior experience, it sounds like Calavo is simply trying to profit from consumers desperate for convenience who don’t mind paying three bucks for a single avocado, and don’t care about more discarded packaging headed to landfills."
Many people on the internet have taken positions on the issue. Some have agreed with Eric Huang and Gizmodo. Others, like SF Gate, have looked at other reasons for this packaging, including the fact that it makes avocados — which are a healthy source of good fats — more accessible to populations with limited mobility that struggle to peel and destone avocados themselves.
This kind of product definitely helps those kinds of people, but also addresses issues of food waste as well. Americans are horrific when it comes to food waste, with over $160 billion lost per year, much of which come from households. Brown or overripe avocados both are culprits in this food waste travesty, and the packaging by Calavo helps reduce food waste by keeping the avocados fresh in a prime stage of ripeness.
Of course, there are many ways to look at this issue. Do you agree with Gizmodo and Eric Huang? Or do you feel that Calavo is actually helping its consumers rather than taking advantage of them?
Whichever way you side, it's clear that Calavo has created a unique, albeit controversial, avocado product.