Tattooed Broccoli?

There’s a new labeling technology out there for those high-tech grocery items: fruits and vegetables. No more little stickers.

No, now it’s laser tattooing. The New York Times has an article on the new process. It is being developed by Durand-Wayland, a fruit grower and distributor in Georgia. The new method will eventually allow tracking produce from the grower to you, for both food safety and distribution efficiency.

Apparently, many customers are annoyed by those little stickers. They either can’t remove them or they damage the produce too much by removing them. (My idea of a vegetable is ketchup on my burger, so I’m not bothered by the stickers.)

The stickers are PLUs or price lookup stickers. They carry information about exactly what kind of produce you’re buying.

But the new laser tattoos can contain far more information than the troublesome stickers, and they can be scanned as well. The scanner will recognize a Bosc or a Bartlett pear, or an ordinary Fuji apple from an organically-grown one.