Maya, a journalist from Guardian, has asked me today about my opinion on distribution of fallen tomatoes:
Thanks for getting back to me. I heard today that Waitrose are going to start selling tomatoes that have fallen off the vine ie ones that would have normally been wasted and rejected by supermarkets. Wondered what the fruitarian take would be? Is this a breakthrough in terms of fruit that has naturally fallen being sold nationwide.
The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
My response was:
There are a few thought I had, reading your story, and I can offer them for your consideration.
If these fruits - tomatoes in this case - are gathered undamaged and clean, and there is therefore no additional concern for the health of the future consumers, then this practice could be very efficient for the businesses, and in general potentially good for the environment: less waste of natural resources, and as we know, nearly a half of all plant produce goes to waste in developed countries.
The end-consumer might be happy too, because if fruit detaches from the plant by itself, it usually means that it is ripe, and fully tree-ripe fruits are often tastier and very likely more nutritious than those you can find in supermarkets (normally barely ripe). And if the product will be offered at a reduced price, than I hope more people will be interested in purchasing good quality fallen fruit.
I know about similar practices, when people spread nets under trees to passively and softly gather gentle fruit (like mulberries, for example). Maybe it is possible to put a few of layers of dried leaves under tomato plants to protect the fruits from impact.
During my life I often picked freshly fallen fruit and ate them after a short inspection :)
Hope I was able to share with you my ideas in a well readable form, I guess I'll ask other fruitarians about it as well.