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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As If You Needed More Reasons to Believe That Europeans Are Snobs

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 3:45 PM

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"Mai Non! I will not eet your mees-shapen turneep, monsieur!" That's what the Europeans have been saying to odd or twisted vegetables for years. But behold, the icy economy cometh! And we all know when things get rough, Europeans will eat just about anything. Believe me, you should hear about some of the stuff Matt Davis had to eat during the Blitz. Wait a second! Matt Davis wasn't alive during the Blitz! Why, I Otta....

Anyway, the news is that they have changed there tune. This from the NY Times:

BRUSSELS - Misshapen fruit and vegetables won a reprieve on Wednesday from the European Union as it scrapped rules banning overly curved, extra knobbly or oddly shaped produce from supermarket shelves.

Ending regulations on the size and shape of 26 types of fruit and vegetables, the European authorities killed off restrictions that had become synonymous with bureaucratic meddling.

The rising cost of commodities also persuaded the European Commission that there was no point in throwing away food just because it looked strange.

Gee... Ya think? For some reason, I always thought folks from "across the pond" were smarter than us here Americans. Turns out they're just more picky.

"This marks a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot," said Mariann Fischer Boel, European commissioner for agriculture, who argued that regulations were better left to market operators.

"In these days of high food prices and general economic difficulties, consumers should be able to choose from the widest range of products possible," Ms. Fischer Boel said. "It makes no sense to throw perfectly good products away, just because they are the 'wrong' shape."

Funny thing is, before the regulations regarding ugly vegetables (yes, but they have great personalities) were lifted, several countries tried to block the ruling, including Spain, Italy and Poland. Poland? Oh, come off it Poland, I know you only joined the EU four years ago, but you don't have to agree with Spain on everything just to look cool. I mean, if Spain jumped into the Mediterranean, would you?

A spokesman for Italy, known only as "Mario the Plumber" released a statement before the ruling: "These-ah-turneeps, they have-ah to be-ah nice and-ah round-ah or the shy guys, they don't geet hurt-ah."
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But seriously, how bad could these regulations have been?

The European Union is well known for its detailed regulations on appropriate shapes and sizes for agricultural items. Commission Regulation (EC) 2257/94, for example, states that bananas sold in Europe must be "free from malformation or abnormal curvature," though Class 1 bananas can have "slight defects of shape," and Class 2 bananas can have full "defects of shape." Bananas were not covered in Wednesday's ruling, so for now, these standards remain.

Wierd. I think they use these same standards in gay porn... that... my... housemate used to watch. Yeah, that's it.

Well, thank god they've come to their senses. After all, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a Class 2 banana.

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