Among fruits and vegetables, cucumbers are one of the crispiest options that nature has to offer. The rare vegetable is enjoyed both raw and cooked.
However, shopping for cucumbers is a little tricky. That is because of the sheer volume of cucumbers in the supermarket. One thing common in all these cucumbers is that they are all wrapped in plastic.
So if you have the question, “Why are English cucumbers wrapped in plastic?” I’m here to answer it for you!
Why Are English Cucumbers Wrapped In Plastic?
The following section contains some reasons for cucumbers coming wrapped in plastics.
- Cucumbers come in many different shapes and sizes. If you visit the supermarket, you will likely be taken aback by all the different types of cucumbers on sale there.
- English cucumbers are one of those types. They have slightly thinner skin as compared to other cucumbers and are better in taste. They also have more use in cooking.
- The thinner skin of English cucumbers makes for a fantastic cooking experience, but it is also part of the reason that the English cucumber comes plastic-wrapped.
- The delicate skin of the cucumber needs to be protected from any potential objects that may stress the cucumber’s outer skin. All products in the grocery market are constantly shipped from one place to another.
- This bulk movement can cause some of the products to be damaged upon arriving. So, in order to protect the cucumbers, they are wrapped in plastic to preserve the delicate skin of the cucumber.
- English cucumbers are lighter in weight. Also, they stay fresh for longer. Part of the reason that they are fresh for so long is that they come in plastic wraps which are efficiently working to preserve the cucumber.
- If the skin of the cucumber is torn, its shelf life is reduced, and the cucumber can even develop mold in it if it is not stored somewhere. The plastic wrap prevents this from happening.
- It acts as a protective barrier and protects the cucumber from any potentially sharp objects which might be there on the grocery store’s shelf.
- Moreover, plastic is also a good insulator. This means that it doesn’t conduct heat that well. This ability of plastic to retain its temperature allows the cucumber to be less exposed to the environment.
- Also, the plastic prevents any insects from reaching the fruit. Plastic is also responsible for reducing the dehydration of the cucumber and also its spoilage.
Plastic wrap serves a lot of purposes. From protecting the cucumber from damage to preserving its temperature so that it stays fresh for longer, the plastic wrap helps in a lot of ways.
It can help a standard English cucumber last up to around 10 days. That is more than enough for the cucumber to be sold and then consumed by the customer and stored in a cool environment.
Moreover, the cucumber being wrapped means that its surface has remained untouched from start to end in the grocery store, which means better hygiene for you.
Plastic also plays an integral role when packing the cucumber, in transit as well and also in the store. Not just that, the plastic stays effective even when the cucumber has reached your house.
The plastic wrap sort of creates an airtight skin which acts as a second skin to the cucumber and protects it from damage. It also keeps the cucumber fresh for longer and reduces the chances of the cucumber spoiling. The moisture isn’t lost this way, and the freshness lasts longer.
A longer lasting cucumber translates to lesser buying and lesser deliveries. This reduces the amount of waste that comes out as well. However, one concern is the impact on the environment.
The Effect of Plastic On The Environment
Considering the impact of plastic on the environment, you might still be asking yourself the question: “Why are English cucumbers wrapped in plastic?”
It’s essential that you balance the need to keep your food absolutely safe and edible with the waste that you produce alongside. So you need to identify a line to exist on which takes care of both aspects.
What this means is that more than a certain amount of plastic can no longer help the cucumber as much as its producing waste. Therefore, it would be best if you struck a perfect balance between the use of plastic and the waste it produces.
In recent years, some countries have made a lot of efforts to reduce plastic-wrapped goods for environmental reasons. However, there are a number of drawbacks to plastic. For starters, it is not biodegradable.
What this means is that plastic can not be reduced naturally and stays on earth in its original form. There are some discussions about some other environmentally friendly alternatives, but till they are deemed adequate, we are stuck with plastics.
Some companies have developed a better coating for cucumbers that is more environmentally friendly as well. These are plant-based coatings and are plastic-free.
The product protects the cucumber the same as plastic does. Still, it also is biodegradable, and the environmental concerns wrapped around plastic are resolved.
Because of the use that it offers and the fact that it is a perfect substitute for plastic, some places have cucumbers wrapped in these.
Anyhow, being wrapped in plastic doesn’t mean anything wrong for the cucumber. As opposed to that, it is actually suitable for the cucumber if you ignore the environmental aspect.
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Plastic comes on English cucumbers mainly to reduce the pressure on the fruit while getting shipped to and from the grocery store. It also has an environmentally friendly alternative which is better than it.
If you have ever asked yourself the question, “Why are English cucumbers wrapped in plastic?” This article contains the answer to that question.
If you have any more concerns, you can always reach out to us on our email provided below!