h a l f b a k e r y
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Picking fruit at a grocery store is hard enough in person,
relying on vague stereotypes about how sweet an orange
will taste or how ripe a melon is (sniff the bellybutton!
or something). Knowing how ripe/sweet/etc. a fruit is
when purchasing online is more or less impossible. Yet
is becoming more common.
I just had a bag of fruit delivered in under an hour. The
website sent me an e-mail asking me how I liked the
service. Well, the delivery guy showed up, so I gave him
5 stars. But what if they asked me how the fruit tasted?
The invention consists of a database of fruit ratings.
Customers rate fruit they've purchased based on flavor,
sweetness, freshness, ripeness, etc. These are then
published along with the fruit's description and are
automatically adjusted over time (using artificial
intelligence routines based on actual experience). In
exchange for the effort, the customer gets a slight
discount off their next order.
This would have a secondary benefit of rating the
growers. If a grocery store consistently receives fruit
from a particular grower that is of low quality, they'll
know to either switch growers or offer less money for
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||I dunno. My wife worked in gourmet food stores - she knows fruit. There are seasons, and within seasons are windows to harvest and deliver in.
||If you insist on buying it early, sight unseen, they'll sell it to you. But if you want first quality, go look at it and smell it. Otherwise, caveat emptor.
||We should train dogs to sniff out the best fruit. It sucks, though, that with this added efficiency the poor will end up getting poorer nutrition (as properly ripe and more nutritious fruit tastes best)
||// We should train dogs //
||You need to be really, REALLY careful with what you train dogs to do. Bad things can happen.
||For instance, it is entirely possible to train breeds not normally thought of as sniffer dogs to sniff out, for instance, explosives, by the well-proven "work for food" technique.
||But since the truly intelligent dog soon works out that the faster the Pink Blob gets its object of desire, the sooner the food will appear, it can prove alarmingly difficult to then train them to never, EVER, under any circumstances, to retrieve ...
||Worse, once that smell=food association is formed, it can be impossible to dislodge, with truly terrifying consequences.
||I'm taking a stand here. A stand for Farmer's Markets
everywhere. There is something sacred and extraordinaire
about receiving, eating and enjoying the produce of Earth,
directly from the hands that gardened it. You can ask
questions, taste, chose, or reject, at will and/or at whim.
||You support directly, and help rid the world of middlemen.
||@norm/bliss - yes, obviously seeing and touching fruit is
helpful. But tasting every fruit is an inefficient system -
even at my local farmer's market I wouldn't ask them to cut
open every melon I might buy. This is a method for
*someone* to taste and smell every fruit, even if it isn't you.
||// A stand for Farmer's Markets everywhere. There is
something sacred and extraordinaire about receiving,
eating and enjoying the produce of Earth, directly from the
hands that gardened it.//
||Gardener's markets perhaps. I was taken to a farmer's
market in Cheshire last time I was there, my companions
were able to pick up some lovely local pineapples and
strawberries. Remarkable for February. I got quite cynical
about the whole deal after that.
||I think you'll find, [bs], that the Cheshire pineapple
industry is long-established. Indeed, pineapple
seedlings from Cheshire were used to establish
plantations in Guatamala, Surinam, Malaysia,
Hawaii and Brazil, once it was realized that this
fruit could withstand the tropical heat.
||Of course, without the late frost on the developing
fruit, tropical pineapples never develop as deep a
sweetness as native Cheshire fruit, which is why so
much tropical pineapple sold tinned in syrup.
||// Remarkable for February. //
||Indeed - after all, you're getting near to the end of the season then.
// I got quite cynical about the whole deal after that. //
||Nature is not really about consistancy. Getting an exceptional piece of fruit should be an inspiring rare delight. When the supply is consistantly low or exceptionally bad that's when a complaint should be used.
||Technology is designed to give consistancy. Lab grown fruit cells might be able to be designed for a specific constant taste desire.
||//Nature is not really about consistancy. Getting an
exceptional piece of fruit should be an inspiring rare
||An interesting part of human psychology that. A friend of
mine recently did a project at a Scottish whiskey
distillery. They were trying to work out why 1/3rd of the
batches were wonderful, 1/3rd average and 1/3rd sub-
student grade. A few months with all kinds of sensors and
the problem was traced. They can now get the good stuff
90% of the time. Strange thing is, whiskey people hate
this. They seem to prefer the special nature of the
occasional good batch, the varied (and wrong) opinions of
the master tasters as to why the bad batches were bad
and apparently only drinking good whiskey some of the
time. The same thing exists all over the place, quality
control was dreadful in the '60s, so most of the guitars
from that era are total clunkers, doesn't stop people
getting all misty eyed and shelling out wads of cash
though. I wonder if I should market aficionado-grade
antibiotics? The 66% failure rate and horrible deaths
really make you appreciate the efficacy of your own
||Fruit, however, is often consistently bad. Which is why
we have to nag people to eat it. You can get great fruit in
California, and Spain etc. but not in England, or the US
east coast. Weirdly, its often the same fruit. Just with a
few days refrigerated storage and transport. Which begs
the question, should we be nagging people in cold rainy
places to consume water-intensive products from drought
stricken areas? Or should we just embrace the 2 week
glut of glorious strawberries and resign ourselves to
eating sheep or whatever for the rest of the year.