Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Organic" Fruit Drinks Not Organic; What Should I Do?

Follows is my moral dilemma for the day. What should I do? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

My neighborhood is populated with food carts and trucks, many of them selling fake ice cream and fake baked goods. There are also plenty of fruit vendors, but nobody is selling organic fruit. That's why I was surprised to see an "Organic Fruit Shakes & Smoothies" cart, replete with a menu for two dozen different drink concoctions.

One problem: None of the fruit on display and used was labeled organic. The apples and oranges had PLU codes starting with a 4 (signifying non-organic), there was a box, clearly labeled, of non-organic bananas under the cart and the strawberries were in a plastic shell identifying them as non-organic. The other fruit (lemons, pineapples, pears, etc.) did not have any organic markers.

It was obvious from the vendor's behavior—following my question, "Is all of the fruit you use organic?—that he was consciously making the decision to cheat people. After he answered "yes," I picked up an orange, pointed to the PLU sticker and said, "Really?".

"OK, some of it," he said.

I challenged him further, spurred on by the thought that people were paying $7 for a lie. His ever-changing answers yawed from the innocent ("It's only my second day doing this") to the deflective ("It's the company that makes the carts") to the economic ("I am trying to make a living") to the this-doesn't-make-it-right, but . . . ("If I used organic fruit, they would be paying $17, not $7"). His behavior, in my mind, only concretized his guilt.

The thought of people being cheated makes my blood boil. Should I report the vendor to the city agency that oversees mobile food carts? Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob - Most definitely you should report the vendor -- that is just so wrong, and it hurts everyone, including other food cart vendors.

Love your blog!