Our latest adventure led us to oranges. Bag after bag after bag after bag. Sure, each one had one or two moldy little orbs. But each bag also had ten in the perfect condition to fill our mouths with vitamin C and cover our chins in juice.
I was slitting open net bags and separating the moldy from the edible when the Carpenter came into the kitchen. Slice open a bag, toss the squishy, moldy oranges into the compost bucket, toss the good ones into a plastic crate. I take a perverse joy in sorting dumpster booty, in adding bucket after bucket to the compost pile/chicken buffet, in placing produce in pretty, color-coded patterns. You could call me neurotic, and you’d be right. But beyong the obsessive compulsive side of my love of sorting dumpstered vegetables is a deep respect and love for the food that keeps me alive.
The Carpenter grabbed a bag of oranges and ripped it open as I tossed another orange into the compost bucket. “You know, you can’t put oranges on the compost.”
This was news to me. Disturbing news. Oranges, he said, were apparently treated so heavily with pesticides that they were technically considered Sondermüll (special trash that needs to be disposed of at a drop off point and cannot be mixed with the regular trash). I’ve scoured the internet for further information, but have come up empty handed, so if you’ve read about this as well, pretty please tell us all about it in the comments.
Despite the gaping hole in Google results on the subject, I don’t doubt the the Carpenter did hear or read about this somewhere, and I don’t doubt that oranges are sprayed with obscene amounts of pesticides. And contemplating the crate of oranges that I later turned into round after round of apple-orange-pepper-cucumber juice, I have to ask myself this: if our fruit is so poisonous that it is considered appropriately placed right between electronic equipment and rusty cans of turpentine and paint on the trash scale, do we really want to eat them?