What may look like a pear that’s “gone bad” might well be a pear at the peak of its ripeness. When handled and housed among impractically large and heavy piles of fruit at the grocery store (an appearance of abundance is more enticing to customers), a perfectly ripe pear will unfailingly acquire some dings and bruises.
What are we teaching our children or encouraging in our culture if we reject anything that doesn’t fall within a slim margin of perfection—within the standard shape, color, and size that we have deemed desirable?
Many of us are stuck on the notion that it takes nerve to rebel against the guidance of the date label. But sniffing out freshness doesn’t require the experience of trial and error. It isn’t a skill we learn: it’s a skill we’re born with.