Monday, 19 September 2011

The Fruit Factor

A while ago I was chatting to a friend at work and the conversation turned (as it does when two people are united in a desire to do anything but the job they’re paid to do) to fruit. Specifically, the problems with eating certain fruits when you’re at work.
Some of them might be too fiddly or too juicy or take too long to eat. Some fruits you might feel more comfortable eating on your own than if you share an office (I’m looking at you bananas). There are many potential pitfalls so I decided that really what everyone needs is some sort of Fruit League Table – a document you can consult before choosing your fruit so you avoid any unnecessary mess/embarrassment.
Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list. I am well aware I will have missed some fruits out (for instance, I haven’t included pears because I think they are the most irrelevant fruit ever. Sorry pears. It’s not even that I don’t like the taste of you, you just bore with every inch of your pear being).
-          Pretty standard fruit, some might see you as a boring person if they are given to judging a person’s character by the fruit they eat. Much akin to people judging you by the shoes you wear.
-          The Noise Factor – crunchy they may be but if you’re sat opposite someone eating them you might want to punch them in the head by the time they’re finished.
-          The Brown Factor – apples turn brown very quickly. What happens if you start to eat your apple and then have to make a call or are pulled away from your desk? You come back to a horrible brown apple. That’s just not convenient.
Oranges (and others in the same field – clementines, satsumas etc)
-          The Ease of Access Factor . They can be fiddly to peel (although satsumas are easier to peel I will admit)
-          The Pip Factor – there you are, happily eating your orange when suddenly you have a pip in your mouth! Bleurgh! Trying to find a discreet way to spit it out might be difficult if you’re sharing an office and everyone knows you can’t swallow them because then an orange tree will grow in your stomach.
-          The Citrus Eye Factor. We’ve all been there, merrily peeling away until we’re temporarily blinded by a juice squirt. Unpleasant.
-          Segments – positive – easy to eat in an office in environment. You can have a little segment, do something, have another segment. Lovely.
-          The Phallic Factor. You know what I mean. Although can be combated by breaking pieces of banana off rather than looking like you’re trying to audition for Deep Throat.
-          Easy to peel.
-          The Brown Factor – if you can get into work without having a perfectly good banana turn to mush by the time you get it out of your bag then you are some kind of magician. Or you have a banana guard.
-          The Juice Factor. You could end up with juice all over the place and sticky hands and a keyboard that doesn’t quite work properly because you didn’t get enough toilet roll to try and catch dribbling. Not excellent if you’re sharing an office.
-          Messy Stone Factor. Eurgh. Horrid stone in the middle, need to dispose of it. Bleurgh.
-          String in Teeth Factor. You’ve eaten your plum. You’re happy. But you have to spend the rest of the day trying desperately to pick the strings of fruit out of your teeth that you know are there but seem incapable of grasping.
-          ­See Plums Points 1-3
-          But. Doughnut peaches seem to eliminate the juice factor. They are equally as delicious but without leaving you with juice all over your chin. Bonus.
-          Unwieldy.
-          Need extra implements to eat it.
-          The Juice Factor.
-          See Kiwis Points 1-3
-          Also Grapefruit Face. That awful face that grapefruits sometimes make you pull. No-one sharing your office needs to see that.
-          Good because they can be cut into chunks which can be enjoyed at your pleasure.
-          But require extra preparation at home so lose points
Grapes/Cherry tomatoes/blueberries
-          Pretty perfect because they are small and easy to pop in your mouth so you can eat and carry on working.
-          But there is the possibility that you will be unable to exercise restraint and will eat a whole punnet in one go which may mean this is an expensive fruit option.
-          See Grapes et al Point 1
-          Lose points for the pain of hulling.
So you can see that as a result of my extensive research I feel I can include that the most office friendly fruit/s is/are grapes or cherry tomatoes or anything in that kind of group. Mostly because of the ease of eating them.
Other fruits can be office friendly but just may require more consideration – maybe eat your bananas and plums when no-one else is in the office.
As I said before, this list is not meant to be exhaustive, please add any amendments or suggestions in the comments below!


  1. I think strawberries rather unnecessarily lost points for the hulling issue there.

    There's no need to hull a strawberry is there?

    I never do. And I don't have a strawberry tree growing in my tummy.

  2. I quite enjoy the phallic factor of the banana. I'm enjoying my banana-y snack, not my fault if other people have dirty minds.

    Tbh I usually just take jaffa cakes because they don't have the juice, stone, sticky, phallic, brown, grapefruit or implement factor.

  3. I may or may not have bought a banana guard. I think they are pretty much amazing.

  4. I'm a banana at breaktime and an apple at lunchtime sort of person. I did take a plum with me today but I didn't manage to eat it.

    Very amusing thoughts! x

  5. Napkins were an awsome invention. I highly recommend them. oh and don't sweat the bannanas. your office mates will just think you're very talented, and your man is very happy.

  6. Thanks for your comprehensive analysis of eating fruit at work!
    This will be most useful.
    It sounds odd, but my favorite work snack is carrots ( I know it's veg not fruit). Really easy to carry and clean to eat.
    Thanks also for the high five over at my blog. Much appreciated, and you also have good taste in books!!

  7. I often cut my fruit up and have it on my cereal in the morning at work.

  8. You see I find oranges so messy - I get juice everywhere! Kiwi's are quite clean if you have a teaspoon and solution to grapefruit is tinned grapefruit - yummmmmmmm! Yes, I'm weird I like sour stuff! xxx

  9. Wow - that was great but somewhat exhausting to read!
    Maybe a Multi-Vitamin is the way to go!?


  10. haha brilliant! totally agree with the grape/tomatoes thing, very easy to eat the whole punnet in one go... and who would eat a grapefruit in the office?! get your plate and cutlery out?!

  11. The grapefruit face comment made me laugh a lot! Grapes are my shared office snack of choice, but I do indeed eat the whole punnet. And as for people eating apples - the noise makes me stabby. I wholeheartedly agree with your fruit league table ;)

  12. What a thoughtful girl you are compiling that guide for us! And love the debate it's provoked!

    I tend to avoid all the potential pitfalls by just eating Wispas :)

  13. I'd never even thought about any of this! And apparently my way of "doing" fruit is very unusual. I buy a lot of whatever is in season at the market during the weekend, cut it into portion sized bits when I get home (and freeze it if necessary), then pull out whatever I feel like eating in the morning and throw it in my lunchbox. Works a treat. But I suppose it fails on the "preparation at home" factor. There is a some of that.

  14. This is a little bit fab! xxx


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