Tasty Tattoos

Zak is a good husband. He alerts me to all the good articles floating around in the blogosphere. This morning, when I should have been reading the New York Times food section, but was instead finding out that abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph was being sentenced to life in prison, he told me to check out the story on tattooed fruit.

Yeah, tattooed fruit.

In an effort to be rid of those damnable produce stickers, a process by which the information contained on those stickers is instead burned by a laser into the skin of the fruit, has been patented and will soon be evident in a grocery store near you.

Just to prove I am not a neo-luddite, after my cautionary statements on nanotechnology yesterday, I want to say this seems like a pretty good idea. Part of the reasoning behind it is to track produce from source to table–and since most food travels thousands of miles in between these days, that is a good idea. Food security depends on knowing where your food came from–stickers don’t cut it because they fall off or can be removed. If a batch of apples, for example, comes in, and they have been poisoned or cross-contaminated in some way–tattoos will help investigators figure out the source of the contamination easier by providing an easier trail to follow back to the source of the fruit.

So, there–not everything that the giant food corporations come up with is evil.

Just most of it.


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  1. I WISH the labels would fall off. I find them almost impossible to remove without damaging the fruit. We got some Rosa plums recently to make pie and EVERY plum had to have the stupid label cut off.


    Comment by ejm — July 19, 2005 #

  2. Yeah–if they don’t fall off, you almost need a nuclear bomb to get them off. That is the other reason the food industry is trying to get rid of them–they either don’t work at all, or work too damned well.

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — July 19, 2005 #

  3. I have to say that I really dislike them. They must be driving the price of the fruit up. Surely it would be enough to trust our produce sellers to tell us where the fruit came from. At our vegetable/fruit stands, the cardboard price signs usually include the place of origin.

    Thank Heaven there are no stupid stickers on the small fruit like blueberries, strawberries or grapes.


    Comment by ejm — July 23, 2005 #

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