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Whole Foods Pulls Pre-Peeled Oranges After Massive Twitter Backlash

March 4, 2016, 6:47 PM UTC
New U.S. Government Eating Guidlines Issued
NEW YORK - JANUARY 13: A grocer arranges mangoes in the produce section at Whole Foods January 13, 2005 in New York City. New eating guidelines issued by the U.S. government stress the need to eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and to excercise between 30-90 minutes a day to promote good health. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
Photograph by Stephen Chernin—Getty Images

When Twitter gets mad, it’s hard to ignore.

That’s why when users on the social media site became infuriated with Whole Foods (WFM) for selling pre-peeled oranges packaged in plastic, it only took a few hours for the organic food market to pull the product from shelves. It began with a tweet by Nathalie Gordon showing a picture with a facetious comment about plastic waste.

The decision to package peeled oranges in plastic is particularly surprising coming from Whole Foods, which lists practicing and advancing environmental stewardship as one of its eight core values. That includes “reducing waste and consumption of non-renewable resources,” including plastic.

 

Gordon’s picture was favorited and retweeted over 60,000 times and written about in various online publications. While many people agreed with her that it was a complete and unnecessary waste of plastic, and therefore environmentally irresponsible, others did argue that the pre-peeled product is necessary for certain consumers, particularly the elderly and disabled.

Whole Foods responded to Gordon in a tweet announcing that the product had been pulled.