Peeling oranges is just way too hard for some people. A Whole Foods store in California has come to the rescue, by selling pre-peeled oranges for those that can’t be bothered.
Naturally the chain, known for its sustainability and a “Green Mission” statement, is getting a flood of blowback online. The first tweet to criticize it put it succinctly:
If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn’t need to waste so much plastic on them. pic.twitter.com/00YECaHB4D
— Nathalie Gordon (@awlilnatty) March 3, 2016
The picture, tweeted Thursday morning, garnered 112,000 combined retweets and favorites. The same picture on Imgur raked in 430,000 views in less than two days.
Reaction against the packaging faux pas was swift. “That makes me unbelievably angry actually,” wrote a user. Another person called it “unnecessary.”
Others, however, pointed out that pre-peeled oranges are optimal for people with disabilities or senior citizens. “While it looks like a waste to you and I, many senior citizens struggle to swallow an orange let alone peel one,” a man wrote, but added that more sustainable packaging should have been used.
Whole Foods issued an apology, tweeting: “Definitely our mistake. These have been pulled. We hear you, and we will leave them in their natural packaging: the peel.” The chain added that the pre-peeled orange is an experiment in a “handful” of stores.
This is the second time in a year that Whole Foods has dealt with unwanted social media furor. Last April, the grocery store caught ridicule for selling $6 “asparagus water” (yum!), but soon backtracked stating that it was supposed to be a broth not a flavor-enhanced water.