Due to social media backlash, Whole Foods has decided to pull a particular product off their shelves.
Similar to the asparagus water debacle in August 2015, during which bottles of water with pieces of asparagus were being sold for $5.99, another particularly odd product has been spotted at Whole Foods.
A photo of peeled oranges placed in plastic containers has made numerous people question the motives and business practices of the environmentally-friendly store. According to the official website of Whole Foods, one of the company’s eight core values includes active environmental stewardship, a practice that appears counter-intuitive to the use of unnecessary plastic packaging.
“If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn't need to waste so much plastic on them,” tweeted Nathalie Gordon.
On Twitter, Whole Feeds responded to Gordon and let her know they were in agreement of her astute analysis.
“Definitely our mistake,” the status read. “These have been pulled. We hear you, and we will leave them in their natural packaging: the peel.”
Although many believe that providing plastic packaging for oranges is excessive, some have argued that the product may indeed serve a purpose. Various people have stated that individuals with physical limitations may appreciate the pre-peeled fruit. Others wonder if removing the peels perhaps functioned as a loss prevention mechanism.
“For seniors with arthritic hands and people with other disabilities with their hands, peeling oranges can be difficult and unpleasant,” wrote Roland Buck. “The elitism of people with healthy hands and their indifference to people who have difficulty performing this task is shocking.”
“Maybe this is what they do when a batch of oranges come in that have less than perfect skins?” pondered Jude Rouslin. “Or any veggie, just shove it in a plastic container, slap a price on it, and call it a convenience ‘On the Go Food.’”
A spokeswoman for the company told Huffington Post that some of their stores attempted to experiment with certain produce.
“A lot of our customers love the convenience of our cut produce offerings, but this was a simple case where a handful of stores experimented with a seasonal product spotlight that wasn’t fully thought through,” the spokeswoman explained. “We’re glad some customers pointed it out so we could take a closer look.”