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Lanky leeks are legal !

Posted by Big John on November 13, 2008

I can remember many years ago shopping in markets in Spain and having a problem in identifying certain fruits and vegetables. Great big knobbly yellow, pink and green fruit turned out to be tomatoes and small bent rough green gourds were in fact cucumbers, but what I had no trouble with was the taste. They were all delicious.

Even in the UK, fruit and vegetables came in all shapes and sizes: and then along came the EU who said that everything had to be ‘uniform’, which also meant tasteless in most cases.

As with all EU laws and directives the British government immediately sprang into action threatening to ‘hang, draw and quarter’ anyone who sold a crooked cucumber or wonky carrot, whereas our cousins across The Channel, as usual, mainly ignored Brussels and continued to sell assorted size sprouts (Oops! Sorry), golf ball size spring onions and grotesque garlic.

Now it seems that The European Commission has re-peeled controversial laws that prevent oddly-sized or misshapen fruit and vegetables being sold in Europe, but with typical EU bureaucratic thinking, our European masters say that it only applies to twentysix varieties … apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts, water melons and chicory.

The rules will remain unchanged for another ten types of produce, which account for 75% of EU fruit and vegetable trade, so you won’t be able to buy ugly … apples, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, lettuces, peaches, nectarines, pears, strawberries, sweet peppers, grapes and tomatoes.

Oh, Yes you will ! …  Provided they are labelled appropriately. So an apple which does not meet the standard could still be sold, as long as it were labelled “product intended for processing” or some equivalent wording: but will it be sold by the pound or by the kilo ?

Bleed’n hell ! … Where do they find these nutty commissioners ?

I always knew that …

…    they were bloody ‘bananas’ !   🙄


3 Responses to “Lanky leeks are legal !”

  1. Betty said

    A few years ago we went through a “silly season” in this country, where various State Legislators tried to enact laws making it a crime of some sort to say insulting things about vegetables. “Veggie abuse” we called it. So, for instance, saying “I think beets taste gross” might get you a fine. Fortunately, no laws were actually passed.

  2. Over-regulation is always a risk in bureaucracies. We get it here in things like the binmen refusing to empty a wheelie bin because the lid is open by a couple of inches. That doesn’t make “Brussels Twitch” any less ridiculous, of course.

    To over-specify natural produce such as fruit and vegetables is to cause great waste because all the “unfit” specimens will have to be thrown away. This naturally increases the price, as does the labour of sorting the fruit and veg.

    If the “failed” produce can still be sold, albeit with appropriate labelling, we should encourage shops to do this (by buying it, obviously!) in the name of saving resources and lowering the cost of food.

    Besides which, regulation is depriving religious lunatics of all the fun they have when a knobbly potato or a curvaceous tomato looks like Mother Teresa.

  3. Darlene said

    With all the trouble in the world wouldn’t you think the commissioners would have better things to think about than the shape of a vegetable? For gosh sakes, no one is forcing anyone to buy an odd shaped cucumber if they don’t want to.

    Across the pond our nutty legislation runs to controlling the lives of gays. Maybe controlling the shape of a veggie isn’t so bad after all; it could be worse.

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