Europeans ought to be told that wonky fruits and vegetables do not cause misshapen bodies. The sagging weights in their chests are not due to an overripe papaya, nor are the waves of fat in their bottoms caused by giant pumpkins; but by the voracious appetite and fancy for sweets that has left a sour look on their faces in the mirror. It is a combination of volume, type and manner of food they eat, regardless of its shapely look, plus a sedentary lifestyle, that cause bulges and flabs across a wide surface of wrinkled and freckled skin.
At a time when growing demand, food scarcity and high prices is drastically changing the shape and physical appearance of the poorest populations in the world, Europeans worry about the form and size of what they consume and discard those that are not according to standard. The first known European standard was devised by Hitler when he was developing the look and structure of the genuine Aryan Race for the new German order. Little is known if they were fed standard sized fruits and vegetables. But the European Commission wanted to loosen the implementation of these requirements that prevent distorted items from being sold alongside the more shapely ones. This effort has been resisted by many EU member countries.
The Europeans are fond of complicated rules for food, much like the Neapolitan Pizza certification that requires specific sources of tomatoes, buffalo milk for the mozzarella, among others; and the commission wanted to simplify these by removing unnecessary standards to cut red tape. But their complex marketing rules have prevailed, even if it has generated debates that rival nuclear disarmament, on how straight a banana should be or how much curvature will be allowed for a cucumber. No doubt, a series of discussions that will shake the world out of its axis.
The Commission has conceded to put a special label on such fruits and vegetables as "For use in cooking" only. Thus, the poor fruit or vegetable will experience discrimination and labeling. But even this concession was denied. The thing is, even with such a label, will not the fruit or vegetable also be eaten even if cooked? Will cooking reshape these or would its dangerous properties be removed by heat? Or is it just aesthetics that matter? This concession looked sillier than the resistance to it.
Is there some superstition behind the standards that ensures no freaky looking products are sold in Europe? Certainly, these products cannot take the blame for Europe's share of freaks in its history, nor the freaky calamities that passed the continent and caused much suffering. But Europeans have always been particular about how they do things and the tested ways in which their methods are formulated. For them, the traditions and the purity of the process ensures the quality of the European brand. Tradition is continuity, and therein lies the assurance that a succession of generations will propagate the values, ethics and attitudes of their esteemed ancestry. The family name and coat of arms endures, and the legacy lives on.
It is a legacy that people from the African and Asian continents should be familiar with. A legacy of European colonialism that is summed up as indifference to the colonies' plight, and deference for the colonials' interests and standards. And while people in Africa and Asia are starving to death, Europeans want to discard the freaky food items. It's difficult to tell which ones are the real freaks eh?