The pursuit for perfection.

Image via Wikipedia

Today, I have started to pick apples in an intensive orchard for a local packing house, which will then ship them out to suppliers, supermarkets or overseas.  OK, the work is physically demanding but what is more upsetting to me is the wastage.

You need to understand that the packing house will not accept anything other than perfect.  Therefore the apple has to be:

  • the correct shape (mis-shaped apples are discarded)
  • the correct colour (too green and the apple is left on the tree or discarded)
  • unmarked (any mark or blemish means the apple is discarded)
  • the correct size (too small and the apple is discarded)

You get my drift.  It’s all because we, the consumer, expects fruit of all kinds to be a certain shape, colour and size.  Anything else and it won’t sell in the shop.  Therefore, the shop will not buy anything but perfect fruit.  So the suppliers only wants perfect fruit from the grower.

This desire for perfection means that often the best flavoured fruit is discarded.  It has also seen the demise of many varieties of fruit because they “don’t look good on the shelves.”

It’s the same in society.  People are often overlooked or ‘discarded’ e.g. you don’t look perfect; don’t have the right colour skin; don’t have the right skills; don’t speak the same language.

I believe that it’s time to see beyond the initial image.  We need to look deeper and see the beauty, the creativity, and the potential in others and ignore those things that society says are ‘imperfect’.

As for the apples: I also believe that we should be very concerned about the way we grow our food.  In our pursuit for perfection, we run the risk of loosing ancient varieties of fruit and vegetables.  We should be looking to buy our food locally, and support our local growers and local industry.  To me, it’s a crime to see food on our shelves from other countries, that we are perfectly capable of growing ourselves in our own country.

By the way, the majority of the apples I am picking will not be sold in the country they were grown.  They will be shipped elsewhere.  And guess what, we will see USA apples on our supermarket shelves instead!!

In what way have you experienced being ‘discarded’?

About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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2 Responses to The pursuit for perfection.

  1. Ula says:

    Rejected by both my parents as a child, I’ve experienced ‘discarded’ in many profound ways. Thankfully, my life has been blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. And I’ve been privileged to rebuild a relationship with my mother. Humanity’s pursuit of perfection can be dehumanizing sometimes and leave many broken hearts behind. Thanks for an insightful post, Kate 🙂

    • katehobbs says:

      Hi Ula
      Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. Like you, life hasn’t always been kind, but thanks to friends and my husband, I have been on a healing journey for some time now. I will continue on this journey for the rest of my life.
      If we, who have been discarded, can bring about acceptance in others, then there is hope.
      thank you

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