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Pre-cut foods are more helpful than you think

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Rebecca Mennecke

More stories from Rebecca Mennecke

Ballin’ on a Budget
September 17, 2018

Although not helping the environment, cut-up fruits and vegetables help people cut those foods that are hard to chop

 Stop making accomodation of other needs seem like a big deal when it’s not.

Stop making accomodation of other needs seem like a big deal when it’s not.

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I have found it more and more common for people to criticize people with disabilities, sometimes even without noticing, and I’ve had enough of it.

One of the most recent examples of this was on an internet discussion over why grocery stores have pre-peeled oranges in plastic containers, or why they sell cut-up apples and pre-cut pineapple when it goes bad more quickly that way.

It’s intended for people who are unable to cut fruit easily, or may require assistance in cutting things that are more difficult to chop, such as watermelon, pineapple or peeling orange peels off the orange, which is something that I find challenging myself. (Even with those tiny tangerines that are advertised as being perfect for children. Seriously, it’s hard work).

Having pre-cut fruits and vegetables allows all people to taste the deliciousness of fresh fruits and vegetables without having to worry about people — specifically people with some type of disability — using sharp knives and potentially injuring themselves, or having to rely on another person to cut up fruit for them.

But, instead of realizing this fact, some people focus on their own lives and their own needs and they poke fun at the legitimate needs of others, wondering why supermarkets create such “waste” They also often assume that people who purchase pre-cut foods are simply “lazy.”

It’s easy to make the argument that cut-up fruits and vegetables are wasteful and unnecessary because they use up so much plastic, which ends up in landfills and our oceans, harming our beautiful Earth.

But making the argument that pre-cut foods are unnecessary excludes people who rely on such packaging methods and shows our insensitivity to the needs of people who are different. (I also won’t mention how many plastic grocery bags are used to carry even environmentally-friendly packaged foods out. According to the Earth Policy Institute, it’s approximately a trillion per year, in case anyone was wondering).

Pre-cut foods aren’t even necessarily for people with different needs. It can also benefit college students who live by themselves and can’t eat an entire watermelon, pineapple or other form of enormous fruit by themselves before it goes bad. It also benefits single people who don’t have to cook for anyone but themselves. Nothing is lonelier than trying to eat a whole watermelon by oneself.  

In my experience, people with disabilities are excluded and made fun of for a lot of different reasons. Whether it is an intellectual disability or a physical handicap, we view people with such differences as different and somehow lesser than the average person.

All throughout middle and high school, I often saw people making fun of those with disabilities, or referring to them using derogatory terms (such as the ‘r’ word). Many times the person would not realize that they were being made fun of and would view the bully as a friend.

I know I’ve been doing it even as I write. Even the word ‘disability’ seems to insinuate that people with specific differences are somehow unable to have certain abilities. (Which is false).

In an ideal world, it should be a given that we think about people who have different needs from us and we accommodate those needs in a respectful, kind manner. This includes having pre-cut fruits and vegetables for the people who need it, no matter who that person is or what their situation happens to be.

I hope to live in that kind of world.

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Pre-cut foods are more helpful than you think