Food: Packaging: Portion
Sliced lemon   (+1, -5)  [vote for, against]
Individually wrapped lemon slices... you don't waste lemons. Or get a knife/chopping board messy every time you want a drink with lemon. Individually wrapping them will keep them fresher, and probably juicier. Individual slices could be distributed in restaurants for fish/salad garnishing/drinks in the same way as milk, sugar, ketchup etc.
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

Many pubs use pre-sliced lemon packed in tubs. Not quite as specified, but sufficiently close to the intent to warrant a 'Baked' notice.
-- angel, Jul 19 2002

not really, half of the idea is reduce wastage for the individual consumer. If throwing away half a lemon irritates me, a big tub doesn't solve my problem. The other half of the idea is individually wrapping the slices. After all, ketchup is available in tubs, bottles, big squirters but is still most successful in small sachets.
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

First, any given amount of individually wrapped lemon slices would almost certainly cost more than an equal amount of lemon-form lemon. So the consumer would be wasting money rather than lemons.

Second, the wrapping itself would be waste and non-biodegradable waste at that.

Third, I can't think of a way to keep lemons jucier than to keep them as lemons.
-- calum, Jul 19 2002

//Individual slices could be distributed in restaurants for fish/salad garnishing/drinks in the same way as milk, sugar, ketchup etc.//

That would be a cafeteria you're thinking of, timo. Not a restaurant. And you'd be lucky to get a slice of anything edible at all, let alone a slice of lemon.

One low calorie, high protein fishbone I'm afraid. Without garnish.
-- DrBob, Jul 19 2002

Just pick the lemons before they grow so large, and inject a little sugar with a hypodermic needle. Single serving lemons.
-- beauxeault, Jul 19 2002

I like beauxault's idea, although they're supposed to be sour, so why add sugar? But I'm not an expert on unripe lemons.

Anyhow, what I was going to say is that you can buy lemon slices in a jar in some kind of preserving fluid. I've never had them so I don't know what fluid they're in or if they still taste like lemons.
-- pottedstu, Jul 19 2002

[calum] "I can't think of a way to keep lemons jucier than to keep them as lemons"

Thats my point- when you cut a lemon to get slices it is no longer a whole lemon (are you still with me?) and thus goes dry and grey over a couple of days (even when wrapped in clingfilm). And I would rather spend 20p on a pack of 8 half-slices than 30p on a lemon that goes off when I've only used it four times. The only answer other than this is to increase my lemon consumption to 16 half-slices (depending on lemon size) over a 2/3 day period.

And when has anyone been worried about food packaging? Given the amount of waste from sweets, mini-cheeses, ham, sauces etc it's not really going to make a difference.
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

I like Beauxeault's idea, but would advocate the breeding of Bonsai Lemons, about the size of cherries, with very thin skins. Then they come in their own biodegradeable, even edible, packaging. You could have a special squeezer like a garlic press. If you were a slob, you could even use a garlic press, but clean it first.

I've seen bonsai trees with tiny fruit; can't we selectively breed full size trees that crop thousands of grape-sized lemons ?

[Note scrupulous avoidance of any mention of GM in suggestion]
-- 8th of 7, Jul 19 2002

timo, I know that lemons go dry and grey if you chop them up but when the lemon is whole, the lemon is juciest. The mere act of slicing them (which is necessary for them to be individually wrapped) means a loss of juice.

So you have options: use more slices of lemon, buy smaller lemons, use thicker slices or (and this is my real suggestion) slice the whole lemon, place the slices on a shallow dish, pour on some soda water, cover with clingfilm and store in the fridge. Though this last option will not ensure 100% juciness, it will, I'd hazard, come pretty close to the level of juciness ensured by your proposed method (especially if you chop the lemon on the plate).
-- calum, Jul 19 2002

Hmm, thanks for ideas, I'm just too lazy. I guess I'll have to wait till I'm rich (off one of my better ideas, obviously) and get my pre-sliced lemons personally manufactured. (That means for me, not by me)
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

timo: Someone who's sufficeintly anal-retentive to worry about the efficient use of lemons (not renowned as an endangered species) has a bright future either as a software engineer or an accountant, so I'm quite sure you'll one day be rich enough to afford your own personal lemon management specialist. Of course, by this time you'll be completely insane, but it will be somehting for you to consider as you try to gnaw through the straps.

How about small plastic sachets of gamma-irradiated stay-fresh-forever lemon juice/pulp to drop in your drink ?
-- 8th of 7, Jul 19 2002

8th, call me a pansy (and I'm sure you will) but I'd rather avoid unnecessary chemicals and soggy lemon pulp.

And my anxiety over lemon wastage perhaps has more to do with having to go shopping again (or do without the lemony goodness) than the thought of a downturn in the state of the lemon population. [note to self: buy two lemons when next out shopping]
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

If the lemon slices are to go into drinks why not slice the entire lemon, freeze the slices on a baking tray (to stop them sticking together). When frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag other container which you return to the freezer and, viola, long life frozen lemon slices.

I keep meaning to do this but have never tried. Someone let me know if they go 'mulchy'.
-- st3f, Jul 19 2002

stf3: that's a good idea! obviously not making the ice cube redundant, but aiding the chilling of drinks all the same, (unless of course the lemon is for food/hot tea, in which case defrosting is always an option). If I had a lemon that wasn't dry and grey I would try that tonight. You shall all hear about the results after my next trip to Sainsbury's.
-- timo, Jul 19 2002

Lemons rock. That and st3f's idea aside, another possibility is to remove the rinds altogether and preserve only the little lemony pulp pieces. Preserving them this way would stop them from getting a bitter flavor from the juice mixing with the outer rind.

Hmm... I'd love it if someone would sell lemon cubes- frozen lemon juice/bits that are shaped like cubes, and that you put in your iced tea?
-- polartomato, Jul 20 2002

Mmmm... lemons. A few days ago, I sliced and froze two lemons. I am currently using some of the shlices in one of several stupifyingly alcoholic drinks. I am pleased to report that: not only are the contents quite intokshicating but also that the lemons are quite, um, lemony and not in the least squishy.

I hereby proclaim the lemon ecshperiment a shuccess. hic.
-- st3f, Nov 22 2002

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