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What’s this happening in the produce industry?

When I read this article about how some new produce distributors are starting to laser burn info on fruit instead of using stickers I thought it was a pretty cool idea. What do you think? Do you think it will, um, stick?

From the NY Times (article):

A new technology being used by produce distributors employs lasers to tattoo fruits and vegetables with their names, identifying numbers, countries of origin and other information that helps speed distribution. The marks are burned onto the outer layer of the skin and are visible to discerning consumers and befuddled cashiers alike.

The process, government approved and called safe by the industry, may sound sinister. But it was designed with the consumer in mind: laser coding could mean the end of those tiny stubborn stickers that have to be picked, scraped or yanked off produce.

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  1. I think it’s fantastic…although, I will miss peeling them off and putting them on peoples backs, nose, arm, book, etc.

  2. Im all for reducing the amount of packaging, but piercing the skin – wont that make the fruit go off quicker? How about edible or washable ink printed onto the skins ?

    Mark

  3. The organic food junkies are gonna get mad.
    “But what if the laser alters the fruit’s DNA?!”
    Personally, I think it’s pretty cool. Wow, totally random post, Chris. Good job!

  4. I think it burns the area so it doesn’t end up exposing the inside and rotting faster. Interesting thought though.

  5. Next thing you know, someone’s going to be trying to burn 100 megs of data on the surface of a piece of fruit.

    I can see the headlines now.
    “Orange peel media! Just wave the fruit in front of your cell phone’s handy fruit reader to view nutrition facts and a nifty flash animation (complete with advertising) on your head up display!”