Plastic Wrappers on Fruit

Reading When to Rob a Bank (by the authors of Freakonomics) and there was this little passage on plastic wrappers on fruit and food in general.

In my mind, there was no doubt that that was a symptom of excess, and that it was undoubtedly a bad thing.

But Levitt and Dubner (the authors) made a convincing argument that there was actually a practical benefit of wrapping food in what may seem like “excessive” ways: prolonging shelf life and slowing food spoilage.

They argue convincingly that if by having a thin piece of plastic food can last two weeks instead of two days, the reduction in food wastage can and will have a positive environmental impact.

I’m still a little on the fence on this one (it’s highly counterintuitive), but I must admit that it’s a perspective I never thought about.

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