Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,
I have a dilemma. I want pineapple, and I’m already sweating the fact the fruit I want needs to be shipped from far away, releasing greenhouse gases into the environment and contributing to global warming.
Still, I want my pineapple bad enough to buy it anyway. So here’s my question: should I buy my sinful pineapple from a can, or fresh?
—Pining for Pineapple
A: Dear Pining,
That’s a really good question, and bravo for pondering it despite resolutely caving in to your abusive desires.
Fresh is nice because it’s the least processed, and potentially the best tasting and most vitamin rich. But with fresh, you are shipping the whole fruit, including skin and top, which would eventually be discarded. Thus, you’re burning oil to ship refrigerated compost. And you’re encouraging the exporting nation to export a raw material, rather than the value-added product of canned pineapple (which was more likely to have been harvested when ripe, rather than a week before it was ripe).