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The Produce Is Bad

12 Oct

Note: For the visually impaired and the illiterate, I am experimenting with podcast technology. An audio version of this blog post can be found by clicking here:

If there is a positive response to the audio version of this blog, I may continue to offer entries in this format.

A new menace has come to my attention, something horrible and unimaginable. As unfathomably terrible as this news is, the American public has a right to know.

Most of the produce in our stores is counterfeit.

That’s right, counterfeit.

No, I’m not some nut job claiming the Noid or the Keebler Elves have secretly replaced our fresh produce with wax or plastic facsimiles. It’s much, much worse.

Idaho potatoes? I don’t think so.

Florida oranges? Uh uh.

California raisins? I heard it through the grapevine they aren’t Californian.

Doesn't look like they're in sunny California to me!

Doesn't look like they're in sunny California to me!

If they’re really from California, why the scarf, earmuffs, and gloves? Or all that snow, for that matter? Hmm???

This revelation casts the spate of foodborne illness reports in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Who is behind this menace? What nefarious force is surreptitiously spoon-feeding us fraudulent fruits and veggies?

If you guessed China, you’re wrong. A fair guess, all things considered, but still not correct.

No, the source of this evil is a member of the Union. A state so desperate for export income, they’re willing to deceive the rest of the country.

I’m speaking, of course, of Colorado.

How, you ask? How could a state government stoop so low?

Politicians.

You see, under the guise of ‘immigration reform’ (fiendishly devious of them!), Colorado passed a law in 2006 (House Bill 1023) that allowed vegetables to establish residency, retroactively, in other states. Those shifty Coloradans grow their puny, inferior fruits and vegetables in an environment simply not conducive to healthy, vibrant crops, and then transport them through other states on the way to market.

Potatoes are driven in refrigerated trucks through Idaho, and are retroactively granted Idaho residency by Colorado, thus enabling Colorado farmers, and I use that term loosely, to stamp them Idaho Potatoes.

Oranges pass through Florida, and get the same fast-track citizenship treatment.

And the pistachios, the ones masquerading as California-grown, the shriveled, pebble-like nuts I shudder to call ‘gravel’, let alone ‘pistachios’ – they are shipped to California, housed in a warehouse for a single day, and then granted ‘California’ residency. By the state of Colorado.

Oh, and don’t let the massive PR campaign Colorado has unleashed since the passage of House Bill 1023 sway you. Sure, it’s a slick campaign with an appealing message, but it’s lies. All lies. Check out the most recent video put out by Colorado on YouTube if you want an example of the depths that state will sink to in order to beguile the rest of the country:

What can you do to protect yourself? Nothing. You’re screwed. It’s all perfectly legal. Colorado recruited elitist East Coast lawyers to find loopholes in the US Constitution that would allow them to write an air-tight state law.

Honestly, I have to tip my hat to the diabolical geniuses behind this, because it is brilliant.

Wait, wait, don’t abandon all hope just yet. There is one thing you can do to minimize your exposure to these substandard foodstuffs that are so deplorable, state and federal prison systems refuse to serve them.

Vigilance.

Is that ‘Idaho’ potato looking a bit shriveled? Crows feet around those dark, beady eyes? No, it hasn’t sat in the store too long. It’s from Colorado.

That ‘Florida’ orange looking a bit too non-Euclidean in its misshapen geometry? Colorado and its rocky soil and inhospitable climate strike again.

That ‘Georgia’ peach look and taste more like a gob of moldy mashed potatoes squirted into sheep’s intestines and then fashioned into the rough shape of a peach? OK, that has been on the shelf too long – it’s an ‘Idaho’ potato once the Sell By date has expired. Colorado’s law has a provision forcing retailers to re-package those abominations as peaches.

The only other thing I can recommend is that you flood the Colorado State Legislature and Governor’s office with phone calls, emails, letters, and tweets, demanding they repeal this Draconian export law and restore honesty and sanity to our food ecosystem.

In the meantime, I am reliably informed that canned peaches labeled “Canned in Mexico” are not from Colorado, and not expired potatoes. They’re from Arizona and, at the time of this writing, considered relatively safe. Though they might actually be nectarines.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to check out my forthcoming book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, coming out January 9th, 2012 (Balloon Ascension Day)!

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