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A Second Rate Cucumber

Cindy on June 30, 2008 at 12:00 am

It seems the EU has been busy lately. Busy discussing such important things as… bent cucumbers.

Since the 1980′s there has been a “bent cucumber rule” that has been joked about by critics as a reminder of the EU’s over-regulation. European Commission Regulation No. 1277/88, states that “if a cucumber bends more than 10 millimeters per 10 centimeters (0.4 inches per 4 inches) in length, it cannot be categorized as “class one” and may therefore only be sold as a second-rate cucumber.”

Hold on to your hats though, all that might be about to change!

The Danish Agriculture Minster, Mariann Fischer Boel, believes it is time to bend those rules and allow the growers and consumers to decide what should and should not be purchased. Instead of tossing all of those bent cucumbers (and other produce items) out that do not meet specific weight and sizes, she believes it would be more prudent to offer the option to the customer. She suggests offering two different “classes” of fruits and vegetables, where one class might be designated for cooking for instance if it were “inferior”.

Since this alteration of regulation would effect 36 different fruits and vegetables, totaling 75% of cross-border trade, this will be discussed and voted on by many different countries.

Seventeen of those countries have already voiced their opposition to these radical changes, claiming that “having two categories of produce might confuse consumers”.

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