EU Falls in Love with Ugly Produce

Mottled asparagus, short strings of onions, and itty bitty carrots no longer need fear for their lives in Europe, as EU member states voted Wednesday to repeal highly specific marketing standards for 26 kinds of fruits and vegetables, rules Sky News calls “veggie apartheid.” Hee hee hee.

Long derided as overly strict and emblematic of the EU’s love of regulation, such rules stated, for example, that a Class 1 asparagus spear must be green for at least 80 percent of its length, and that it was illegal to sell a cauliflower less than 11 centimeters (a little over four inches). Notes the UK Times, with tongue firmly in cheek, “One branch of Sainsbury’s had planned to sell ‘zombie brain’ cauliflowers and ‘witches’ fingers’ carrots for Hallowe’en this year until it found out that individual managers could face prosecution.”

So go ahead, Europe! Enjoy those forked carrots and misshapen mushrooms. But if you’re going to eat a banana, watch it: as the Times reports, “Bananas will remain subject to a different set of rules which stipulate, among other things, that they must be at least 14cm long and 27mm thick in the middle.”

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