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Texas’ State Fruit — the Grapefruit — Is Under Fire

Photo: Rachelle King

When I first moved to Texas two years ago, I ate so much grapefruit that my now-wife had to force me to stop. I was getting sick, but I couldn’t get over how cheap the fruits were (four for $1 last week at Sprouts). Even the grapefruit juice was cheap, defying all of Ocean Spray’s supply-chain economics. I would eat a grapefruit for breakfast, and wash it down with a glass of grapefruit juice. Scurvy didn’t stand a chance in that apartment.

I’d send photos of grapefruit prices to my dad with pithy comments like, “Bet you wish it was this cheap in New York!” and he’d text back something like “You really need to get a life.” I defended grapefruit to everyone, and loaded my cart with them every week.

Now Slate seems to think they’re the worst fruits ever harvested, a scourge on our stomachs and stockings. From their completely off-base piece this morning:

This killjoy has already invaded our breakfast routines. Its baleful pink, white, or red flesh shines from thousands of tables. Its pulp gets stuck in our teeth. Its juice stains our clothes. And now, we are asked to inflict the scourge on our relatives, shipping it off in packages of 12 or more in order to demonstrate our love?

No. Grapefruit is unwieldy, disgusting, and in some cases dangerous to eat. It is indisputably the worst fruit anyone has ever put on a plate.

No, you’re unwieldy, disgusting, and in some cases dangerous to eat, Katy Waldman. (I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. Truly. You’re probably lovely. I’ve resorted to playground tactics.) She goes on to explain that the compounds in grapefruit inhibit the proper processing of some medications, meaning grapefruit is literally killing you. This, no. The same warning is on the side of every bottle of pills I’ve ever seen, and it’s never stopped me from washing down an antibiotic with a beer.

She also mentions grapefruit tastes disgusting and is impossible to eat. Erroneous! Erroneous on both counts! The truth is, when properly ripened, grapefruit is delicious, and, with two minutes of time, easy to eat. Get it together, Waldman!