3Fresh Fruit That Rots Within Hours
You buy some fruit, and you stick it in that drawer in the refrigerator where you keep your fruit (or the basket on the counter, whatever). The next day, you go to grab one of your fresh new strawberries, only to find that they're already dark and squishy. Damn that grocery store for selling you this trick fruit that looks perfect on the shelf, but self-destructs the next day! Why hasn't somebody filed a class action over this bullshit?
Fear of the mighty Tom Thumb cartel?
Well, it's actually not the grocery store's fault.
When you put your brand new fruit in your fruit holder, was the fruit you bought last week still sitting in there? Of course it was, you might still eat that shit! You don't just throw away money. Well, have you ever heard a grumpy old grandmotherly type say, "One bad apple spoils the bunch"? There's science behind that.
Grandma: 1, Science: Probably much more.
The second a fruit is picked, the flow of a hormone that represses ripening stops and the fruit becomes extremely sensitive to another chemical called ethylene. It speeds up the process that breaks down the fruit's cell walls, making it squishy and vulnerable to germs and fungus. If a fruit also happens to be damaged -- a "bad apple," if you will -- it starts to produce ethylene in spades. Enough, in fact, to spare -- it will infect any other fruit in the vicinity.
Because of this, the damaged fruit is basically a plague carrier -- and therefore pretty goddamn bad news for the healthy, fresh fruit stuck in the same bag or basket.
Now this is fit only for the daiquiri of a pauper.
Can It Be Fixed?
Keep fresh fruit and old fruit separate. Other than that, there's not much that can be done to stop the phenomenon. That doesn't mean science isn't trying, though.
Meet the Water Shade:
Coming soon to an embarrassingly wealthy person near you.
What looks like a particularly tasteless fruit tray/plastic cover combo is actually a complicated concept device custom made to inhibit the rotting process by keeping oxygen -- which is vital to the rotting process -- away from the fruit. What looks like the cover is actually a 360-degree waterfall that cloaks the fruit bowl under a constant thin stream of running water, complete with a motion detector that turns off the water whenever a hand approaches. It's just a concept, but we sign off. Especially since it seems like that's a small modification away from being able to have instant chocolate-covered fruit at any moment.
2Salt That Clumps in the Shaker
Clumped-up salt is a common nuisance and a gateway to many an awkward situation, as anyone who has been walked in on while hammering the salt shaker with an ice pick can attest to. It's one of those things that just seem to happen no matter what -- you store the stuff in a closed container in the darkness of your spice rack, yet the next time you fancy a dash on your fries, you can count on having to spend some time spice-punching the rock-hard formation that has somehow grown out of the grains.
But it's not as if you can do anything about it. That's just how salt works, right?
You're a cold bastard, salt.
The problem is that your salt acts as a magnet -- for water. Table salt, also known as sodium chloride, is strongly hygroscopic. This means it constantly attracts water molecules from the air and soaks them up. This, in turn, helps glue the salt crystals together, until they're too big to pass through the holes at the top of the container. Salt's constant attempt to Voltronize itself is by no means limited to rainy weather, either -- although high humidity does increase the clumping.
Can It Be Fixed?
You might have been to a restaurant or diner somewhere that showed you the answer. They were the ones whose salt shakers contained those little, uncomfortably maggotlike brownish bits. They are actually grains of uncooked rice.
Well, some of them are maggots.
Much like that guy at the bar who skulks around downing every unguarded drink he can find, the rice literally steals all the moisture the salt can muster and soaks it up in its starchy inner matrix. Now slightly soggy, the rice lies content in the knowledge that it has once again completely ruined salt's shit ... until it dries up to the exact same state it was before and starts all over again.
The only problem is that the rice grains need to be periodically replaced, lest they soak up too much to handle their task. Wait, what's that? Science already came up with a ridiculously convoluted, multichambered shaker that does precisely that? Never mind.
"Yes, this absolutely was the best use of our time."