Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

April 3, 2013

Horrid Orange

Filed under: food — Tags: , , , , , , — paragardener @ 10:41 am

The other day, I held a beautiful fresh mandarin orange in my hand, purchased from CostCo. Tired of getting orange fibers under my fingernails, I decided to start opening the peel with my teeth. Big mistake! My mouth filled with a cloud of corrosive vapor, burning the back of my throat. I gobbled the orange just to wash my mouth out.

Earlier, I had attempted to shred some orange zest into a gallon of soon-to-be mead, failing on account of the grater not working with the orange. Had I succeeded, I would have destroyed the entire batch (apparently when I bought the oranges I was not paying for the rinds, as it was clearly assumed that no one would ever think to use them.)

Later on, I noticed that the dogs took no interest in the peels laying in the trash. These scavengers will eat orange and banana peels, used snot-rags, and disgusting things you’d never anticipate. Whatever chemical was on these oranges, it is rejected by insects, dogs, and humans alike, and by inference, there is likely no animal on the face of the Earth that would not recognize it as a noxious poison.

Even as much as I cultivate contempt for the government regulation of food and drugs, this event undermined the faith I thought I didn’t have. A simple law that stated “thou shall not poison food” would unambiguously protect from the horrid orange, since even the dogs recognize it as poisonous. Instead, we enjoy a structure of thousands of pages of regulation that somehow enshrine the horrid orange as acceptable food. Forgive me if the thought of hundreds of FDA scientists and bureaucrats working on my behalf does not fill me with warm feelings of security.



  1. Scrubbing the rinds with soap and water is something I do whenever I need the zest. I also try to buy organic lemons so that’s not a problem (I used lemon zest more than any other). The food industry and the FDA and USDA are evil, evil, evil.

    Comment by estraven — April 3, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

  2. I had a bad feeling the other day when discovering this on the label of my bag of mandarins from Meijer: “Treated to maintain freshness in transport with one or more of the following: thiabendazole, imazalil, pyrimthanil, fludioxonil and coated with food grade natural resins and/or vegetable wax.” Which means: all of them, and then we put wax on to make sure you can’t get it off. These peels aren’t safe for the compost pile.

    Comment by freelearner — April 3, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    • I like oranges, and I like organic chemistry labs, but that doesn’t mean I like an organic chemistry lab spilled over my orange! Seems I will have to seek out the “organic” (non-coated) fruit.

      Comment by paragardener — April 3, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

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