Environment

This Avocado Packaging Is Stirring an Online Debate About Ableism

Some of the environmental harm caused by the mass production of avocados, such as the amount of water needed to grow them, is difficult to avoid.

But a recently posted image of a peeled and packaged avocado sold by California grower Calavo is drawing criticism for creating unnecessary waste.

Calavo’s Avocado Halves already received online criticism earlier this year for its packaging, and responded by arguing that it was intended to eliminate the "guess work" for people who aren't used to shopping for avocados.

avocado

Intentionally or not, Calavo's packaging also spurred an online debate about how food manufacturers cater to people with disabilities. 

Soon after technology blog Gizmodo published a tweet describing the product as "the worst example of wasteful packaging yet," multiple Twitter users defended Calavo for providing disabled people easier access to the fruit. 

 

Calavo did not respond to ATTN:'s request for comment about the intent of the packaging, and their avocado halves are not currently listed on their website's product page.

They aren't the first business to come under fire for using environmentally questionable packaging on fruit. In March 2016, a Twitter user named Nathalie Gordon tweeted a photo of peeled oranges in plastic from a Whole Foods store:

Whole Foods, which markets itself to customers as an environmentally conscious brand, responded by promising to remove the peeled oranges from distribution:

While neither Calavo nor Whole Foods defended their products on the grounds that they provided greater ease of use to disabled people, the social media response illuminates a potential blind-spot for those who see no purpose whatsoever in pre-cut, pre-packaged fruit. As one social media user pointed out, a better response to Calavo's and Whole Foods' packaging may be for shoppers to demand bio-degradable packaging, rather than dismissing the function served by pre-packaged foods altogether. 

[H/T Gizmodo]

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