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One of my summer highlights is enjoying fresh, fragrant, colorful stone fruits. Peaches, nectarines, cherries and apricots – all of which have a hard pit in the center (hence the name) – make summer even more enjoyable.
How Much Does A Peach Weigh
We get them early in the season from sun-drenched California, and they are sold by weight in grocery stores and fruit farms: $2.99 a pound of yellow nectarines; $3.99 for white peaches. As the season progresses, you feel the price.
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And in a few weeks, products from Ontario will hit the market, and then, in terms of quality, the real party will begin. However, what confuses me every year is that, unlike American products, which are sold by the pound, Ontario products are sold in large quantities, usually in 3 liter containers.
Although we all know that three liters of water weighs three kilograms, converting the volume of fruit into weight is not so easy.
What is the weight of one liter of strawberries? How about 551 milliliters (one US dry pint) of blueberries?
So, if you quickly find a three-gallon container of Niagara-on-the-Lake peaches, say $8 a box, how do you compare the price to the peaches you buy by weight in the US?
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Most residents of Ontario and Quebec are probably familiar with the three-liter containers sold from July to October by Vineland Growers, a distributor and marketer of Ontario family farmed stone fruits. According to its website, Vineland Growers is the oldest continuously operating cooperative in Ontario, founded in 1913.
“Our woody fruit industry, along with other industries (berry pints/quarts), has used volume for a long time,” said Matthew Ecker, head of sales and marketing at Vineland Growers, in an email when I asked about the co-op’s choice of using volume as its primary metric instead of weight.
Ecker adds: “Volume measurement has always been used because when fruit is packed on farms, most growers do not weigh individual packages because their job is to weigh a basket, a pint, a quart, etc.
These are all valid arguments, but they do little to remove consumer confusion about the actual weight (and thus cost) of the fruit container they are buying. Moreover, since people know the equation “three liters of water = three kilograms” by heart, many tend to extrapolate it to all three-liter containers – including those containing fruits, not liquids.
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But this reasoning usually works to the disadvantage, because when it comes to fruit, a random container will always have larger units of volume (liters) than units of weight (kilos). In fact, much more.
To prove my point, I did a little experiment. I weighed 20 different 551ml blueberry plastic containers on a digital scale at my local supermarket. The average weight was only about 300 grams (remember my test?), but there was very little difference between the containers – the lightest container weighed 285 grams and the heaviest 310 grams. Adding a short statement such as “approximate weight: 300 grams” can provide consumers with valuable information.
Likewise, Vineland and other manufacturers must add approximate weight data to their fruit containers. This should be easy to do (based on a random sample of a few dozen boxes) and not require that each box be placed on a scale. After all, the currently used three-liter measure is also only an approximation, since fruits of different sizes and shapes fill containers differently.
Do you think plastic containers are confusing? Wait until you visit one of the Montreal Public Markets (MPM) to try to determine the weight of the products you are buying.
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I’m a big fan of MPM, but as much as I love supporting local vendors and farmers, estimating the value of fruit baskets sold at the stalls is very difficult.
For example, at the Atwater Market, “mini-fruits” (blackberries, raspberries, etc.) are often sold in rectangular plastic trays with no weight indication. To make matters worse, the common practice is to place each bin in another, much deeper, slightly hidden bin. This creates the visual illusion that there is much more fruit in the container than there actually is. Judge for yourself from the picture.
Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, CEO of MPM, wrote in an emailed statement that “we take transparency very seriously” and that “we encourage all our traders to use best business practices.”
Moreover, according to Fabien-Ouellet, the sales practices described above are acceptable because “the law gives sellers the flexibility to advertise prices based on weight, volume or units.”
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This is all well and good, but as a frequent market buyer I believe that in this strategic game of asymmetric information, suppliers have a huge advantage over consumers.
When food prices rise, consumers become more price sensitive. Three-liter containers, double plastic trays, American dry pints (seriously?) and even bushels cause confusion, and in some cases mistrust. The role of local farmers, market vendors and food agencies is to create a more transparent market by clearly presenting the weight (in grams or pounds) of fresh produce.
With the power to make informed decisions, consumers will enjoy the Canadian summer even more.
Amir Barnea is Associate Professor of Finance at HEC Montréal and freelance columnist for Star. Follow him on Twitter: @abarnea1
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“I was given to understand that this is something bigger than the biggest peach ever weighed,” said Lalonde.
The peach was picked late on Friday evening. At that moment, Hog knew he had a big peach in his hand, but he didn’t know it was a record holder, so he just put it in the fridge.
The next morning he was at a farmer’s market when one of his employees sent him a picture of a peach and told him the weight.
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“And I said, ‘Hold, hold, hold,'” Hog said. “And it was sold almost by accident.”
Hogue believes that such a large peach grew due to the weather. The Okanagan has experienced an unusually warm spring this year, followed by an unusually cool and wet summer.
“What happened was that we had hot weather after flowering, which was the limit for cell division,” he said. “And then we didn’t have really warm weather in early July, which caused cell division to continue at a very fast pace.”
Hogue said being recognized as the producer of the world’s largest peach would be a “tremendous achievement.” ~ Peach tells Toad to bake a cake for Mario after he saves her in Super Mario 64.
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Princess Peach Toadstool is a main character in the Super Mario series, who usually plays the role of a damsel in distress or a supporting character.
NOTE. Peach no longer has the Vibe Scepter, however, since the Vibe Scepter has touched her, she is still able to use emotion abilities through magic. In general, Peach’s emotions aren’t technically part of her weapons, but her emotions are part of her magical abilities.
If Peach gets a boomerang flower, she will become a boomerang peach. Peach will get a blue suit and an endless supply of boomerangs. She can throw one at a time to destroy/retrieve items and defeat enemies. Under normal circumstances, boomerangs always return to her.
When Peach gets the Super Bell, she will become Cat Peach. Wearing a pink cat suit, Peach will have feline traits, such as the ability to briefly run up vertical obstacles such as walls and jump onto enemies with a unique dive attack. When Peach gets the Lucky Bell, she becomes Peach’s lucky cat. This is the same as before, but now Peach can turn into a statue in the air.
A Really Big Peach
If Peach gets Double Cherry, she will become Double Peach. The buff simply duplicates another Peach on the field next to it. If Peaches catches another, he gets another. She can have up to five clones copying her every move, but the duplicates themselves fall in one hit before disappearing.
If Peach gets Fire Flower, she will become Fire Peach. Peach will have a white and red outfit in which she can easily shoot fireballs. The fireball will bounce off the ground several times before finally going out.
If Peach gets the star, she will become Invincible Peach. The peach will be covered with a radiant aura, that may be
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