Don’t lie: we’ve all done it.
Whether you’re actually planning to buy grapes or not, we’ve all popped one off the bunch to have a taste. It’s like kicking a dropped ice cube under the fridge, or farting and blaming it on the dog: you know it’s not 100% kosher, but it’s a victimless crime, right?
The Simpsons asked us to consider this question way back in season 2: a sanctimonious, pre-Buddhism Lisa gets very worked up over Marge “stealing” grapes in the store, but the cashier is exasperated at having to price check two measly grapes.
It’s two grapes – it’s not like you’re cracking open a bottle of Lite White in the dairy aisle and chugging it before walking out with a milk moustache, right?
On the other hand, it’s… actually kind of exactly like that. You’re eating something you haven’t paid for.
In an attempt to settle this once and for all, GOAT approached the major supermarkets to ask for their taste-testing policies.
Is it technically stealing? How many would be acceptable? Is it fine for grapes, but not so much for berries?
Coles declined to comment, and IGA, Harris Farm Markets and Woolworths did not respond.
A spokesperson for ALDI, however, had bad news for testers.
Our fresh fruit and vegetables are so well priced, they’re already a steal! While our grapes might look too juicy to resist, unfortunately any form of taste testing before purchase is considered theft and not something we allow in store.
Whether the other chains’ silence can be taken as tacit approval of taste-testing or they were just too busy to help us with the greatest moral quandary of the modern era, we may never know.
Maybe the real question isn’t whether it’s wrong – it’s whether eating unwashed fruit that’s been touched by who knows how many other grape-tasters is actually disgusting.
(Yes. Yes it is.)