Green oranges.

Sitting on the couch here with my hubby, I can’t help reflecting on a certain orange juice commercial that just played before my eyes.

There they were, perfectly ripe oranges, just waiting for the pickin’.

Somewhere in the recesses of my memories, I was reminded of a time when I had been had.

I believe that I was in fourth grade, give or take a year.  My mom was leading a preteen team in Florida, the Environmental Tree Planting Team.  ‘Twas a sweet little mission trip.

Two moments stand out more than any other from that summer.

1) I accidentally locked myself in a porta potty.  Was terrifying.  Was sure that everyone would forget me and leave me there.  Screamed and pounded the sides for dear life… Until I figured out how to open the door.

2) Noticing the unripened, green oranges, I fell for a story.  One of the team members told me that oranges are actually green until people come and inject them with orange dye.  Each and every orange.  Every question that I raised about this was answered with some kind of believable nonsense.  Not only did I fall for this tale, back home I adamantly insisted to my peers that this was the very truth that I had beheld with my own eyes.


Why do people lie to children?  

I’m not exactly sure when it dawned on me that I’d been duped, but it was MANY years later.  All along, every time that I saw one of these sweet citrus fruits, I was reminded of the great lengths that were taken to preserve that name “orange.”  As far as I was concerned, oranges should’ve been called greens.

So random.  Unfortunately, so true.

Did you ever fall for any silly lies as a child?


  1. December 11, 2013

    Well, I can’t remember one I fell for but I DID get someone really good freshman year of college. Our all girls floor was having our first dinner with our brother floor and this kid, Jeff, who wasn’t a kid at all, he was like 25 or something, was asked about a scar on his head. Turns out he had a serious illness and had brain surgery as a teenager. Not funny. But I was feeling the vibe so I pointed out to a year old burn scar on my arm and crafted this RIDICULOUS story about working in a 16 story Mongolian orphanage that caught fire one day. There was a precious 4 year old crying out from the top story ‘Ococo, Miss Sherri, Ococo!’ This of course means Help, Miss Sherri, Help, in Mongolian. *complete lie. After a harrowing tale in which no detail was left uncrafted, I described rescuing the girl by rappelling down the side of the building, complete with an explosion that I used my arm to shield the orphan from. Hence the burn. Everyone was in absolute stitches by the end. Except for Jeff. Jeff was quiet and wide-eyed. Bless his heart. Believed every word. And when I finally pronounced the story to be untrue, he looked so confused and made one comment… ‘How did you know the Mongolian word for Help?’

  2. December 11, 2013

    Many years ago I read a book called “The Poisons in Your Food”. When I say many years, this was 1976. Wow…it opened my eyes to the many things we know today. I learned, certain oranges in certain areas mature green on the trees, therefore are dyed. And I learned the skin on red delicious apples are dyed red. I started mis-trusting everything. But now….not so sure what the practice is. I still haven’t bought red delicious apples since then! 🙂

    • December 11, 2013

      Yes, in some parts of the world (tropical countries near the Equator) oranges ARE green when ripe and stay green all year round. That’s because in warm countries the chlorophyll stays inside the fruit. Here, when the oranges are exposed to cold weather (or shocked with cold temps during manufacturing) then the chlorophyll dies off and the orange color appears in place of green. Oranges can change back from orange to green if they suck in all the chlorophyll out of the surrounding leaves. So, it’s okay to buy an orange that isn’t very orange in color and has some green. I know nothing about apples, but dying fruits/veggies to make them more appetizing doesn’t surprise me … we’ve been doing that to other products for years.

  3. December 11, 2013
    Aunt Ethelyn

    I was old enough to not get caught–mother of 3 children–but fell for a friends offer of a green olive off the tree in his front yard in CA. Never had seen an olive tree “in person” and let me warn you–you do not want a green olive off the tree. Don’t know where those green ones in jars come from, but not his tree. Can you say souuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur!

  4. December 11, 2013

    This was 1991, you were turning 8 that summer. You would be going into third grade that Fall. I think there was mostly truth in the ripe oranges are green story … see my reply to Bonnie’s comment. 🙂

  5. December 11, 2013

    My mom told me if I swallowed a pit from a piece of fruit, a tree would grow inside me. It was a warning to be careful and chew things well. Terrified me.

    By the way, did you know Maraschino cherries are first dyed with lye and then colored red? I have not touched one in YEARS.

  6. December 20, 2013
    Aunt Manny

    Goodness, I’ve learned a lot in this blog. Ugh. Can we trust any fruit anymore? Grrr. I don’t recall being duped but I’m sure I was time and again. I was a gullible girl. :/

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