Taking food off for lunch?

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#82
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,159 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by Apeeler
Don't mention APHIS, they are always inspecting my roses, millions of them
Lady bugs are a natural predator to aphids. Introducing them into your ecosystem is biodynamic gardening at it's finest. You can actually mail order them, they come in little boxes!
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#83
MD
3 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I did not realize it would be a problem taking a few snacks off the ship. Maybe I'll pack a few things in my suitcase for the days off ship.
#84
In the Valley, CA
22,942 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
There was just a local news story the other day about a bug that fatally infects citrus trees and one was just found in Southern California. Once a tree is found with this bug, it gets cut down so the other trees won't be affected, and the whole area gets sprayed.
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Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

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Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

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#85
Florida and NY
420 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
We just took our first curise, a 7 day eastern caribbean w/ NCL. In St Thomas, I didn't know this rule and had fruit in a ziplock out in my hand getting off the ship. They made me throw it away when I was getting off the ship. I apologized and it was no big deal, I guess a lot of people don't know the rules. I'd seen a few others w/ snacks as well. One usually doesn't think of a piece of fruit to be eaten in an hour as anything, but in this situation it potentially could be an issue.
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First cruise rocked!. NCL Epic 4/7/12-4/14/12 Eastern Caribbean
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#86
Los Angeles
65 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
A good suggestion is to eat a huge breakfast/meal before you disembark so you can go several hours without being hungry. I personally am looking forward to trying out the foods on the island.

BTW: I just booked my first cruise and has the Boston/Bermuda ports ... Who knows, maybe we'll be on the same ship
#88
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
21,822 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by Cruisin' Chick
Yep, we're serious here about keeping our crops safe. If you drive across the border into California, you have to stop at a check point.

I remember the major Med Fly spraying here in Los Angeles County in the 80s. It's a major deal, costing much money and also is not pleasant for the residents (you have to cover any cars kept outside, etc.). But not eradicating the pests will cost so much more.
That was a horrible time.
All outdoor animals had to be brought and kept inside, everything outside had to be brought in or covered up.
Windows had to be shut, vents off, no air conditioning.
It was late spring/early summer and it was HOT.
The next day everything had to be scrubbed down.
Malathion is very sticky when dispersed by crop dusters. By the fourth or fifth time I got really good a wrapping the swingset.

If Vector Control cannot get a handle on things we go in 'lockdown'. No backyard fruit can be transported outside a certain area.
Friend has a VC trap on her lemon tree, probably looking for that Psylliad.
http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8205.pdf

Be careful in San Diego. The Ag dogs are very good. I've seen many people unloading their luggage on the asphalt. I know for a fact that LemonHeads are real lemonny.
#89
3,513 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I notice lots of people use the word "rule". It's not a rule - it's local LAW and you can be fined heavily in some places.

This is from our Cruise Compass in one of the ports in New Zealand - which is especially strict.

What can I not take ashore?

New Zealand law prohibits the following items to be taken off the ship in port:

Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat of any kind, prepared meats including sandwiches and dairy products. Any consumable food items. Flowers, seeds or plants. Only sealed and unopened bottles of drinking water are permitted to leave the ship. Guests going ashore will be subject to inspection by the New Zealand Quarantine Officer stationed at the gangway.

Inspection was done by a cute little beagle who sniffed your bags.
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#90
Philadelphia area
600 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Although I completely support the idea of not introducing foreign food products, plants, or soil, to a given country, does this really make sense when we are talking about a cruise ship? I mean, if a pest hitches a ride on a piece of fruit that's on the boat, can it not just fly off the boat to infect the local agriculture the same way as if it hatches on piece of fruit in port? Is there anyone on these boards who is an entomologist or a pest scientist who can really answer this question from a scientifically valid viewpoint?

To be perfectly honest, I believe that the real reason why food is not to be taken off the ship is because the local government wants the local businesses to make a lot of money off rich tourists.
#91
California
2,123 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by pdmlynek
Although I completely support the idea of not introducing foreign food products, plants, or soil, to a given country, does this really make sense when we are talking about a cruise ship? I mean, if a pest hitches a ride on a piece of fruit that's on the boat, can it not just fly off the boat to infect the local agriculture the same way as if it hatches on piece of fruit in port? Is there anyone on these boards who is an entomologist or a pest scientist who can really answer this question from a scientifically valid viewpoint?

To be perfectly honest, I believe that the real reason why food is not to be taken off the ship is because the local government wants the local businesses to make a lot of money off rich tourists.
Yes, actually. I am a research scientist. I am not an entomologist, but I used to work as a protein chemist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Post Harvest Quality and Genetics. The concern is not so much from a single insect "flying off the boat". The problems come from eggs or larvae that have been laid inside the fruit. Ever bit into an apple to find a worm or discovered mold growing into the core of your apple? Many different types of insects lay their eggs inside the fruit. A single insect would probably be harmless. A piece of fruit with a bunch of eggs or larvae have far more potential to develop into a serious problem. Often, eggs or larvae are not visible or at least not noticed with the naked eye. They're obvious under a microscope. Mold or bacteria also hitch a ride and can cause serious crop problems when introduced to a crop that hasn't been exposed to it before. Your half eaten food such as apple core or orange peel, ends up in the trash, which goes to a landfill where the insects hatch, mature, and reproduce.

Here's an excellent example of the impact of infestation by an invasive species:

http://westernfarmpress.com/governme...oll-california
#92
California
2,123 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Also, a single insect flying off the boat is unlikely to reproduce on its own. However, insects don't lay a single egg. They lay eggs in sheets, which then pruduce male and female, which then reproduce.

This is a microscopic image of eggs on an avocado seed

http://cisr.ucr.edu/ssp_director/alb...ocado_Seed.JPG

and when this piece of stonefruit was ripe and tasty, these larvae were eggs and probably would not have been noticed by you

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agricultur...cted-fruit.jpg
#93
65 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Now this is just what I was told by customs officials, but apparently several years ago whole crops of apples were lost because of fruit disease that was brought in on foreign apples via their seeds, which is one of the reasons why the US doesn't allow foreign fruit in.
#94
Michigan
26 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by 1025cruise
I generally don't buy food on shore. My reasons for this are that while the local food might be entertaining, if I'm not familiar with the country, I'm going to be hesitant about food safety regulations.
Haha, more worried than at home? I'm guessing you're not from the US
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#96
Florida
19,541 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We take some times for a snack ..
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#97
Iowa
740 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
No snack is worth devastating another country's agricultural or ecological health, period.

I would like to think that most people will check with the crew, read their daily newsletters or do some research before attempting to bring food off the ship.
#98
461 Posts
Joined May 2005
Thanks so much, NoobCruiser.

That is the best explanation I have seen yet on the issue. Doesn't matter if we 'believe' it or not, these particular laws are in place for a reason. It's ridiculous to suggest it's about forcing 'rich tourists' to spend a few dollars on lunch while ashore. If you need a snack, take something pre-packaged. Absolutely, no fruit snack is worth it.

I hope what you've posted helps others to understand better what the risks are.
#99
Philadelphia area
600 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Laughing Angel
No snack is worth devastating another country's agricultural or ecological health, period.

I would like to think that most people will check with the crew, read their daily newsletters or do some research before attempting to bring food off the ship.
I agree with you that no snack is worth devastating another country's agriculture, but some snacks are bound to be perfectly safe. While I understand that taking ripe fruit off a ship might be a problem because it could transport larvae, just exactly what is the danger of taking a granola bar, chocolate bar, or a can of soda, or a can of beer into another country?

Mitigating the spread of some insects by forbidding certain foods into another country makes sense, but it is impossible to prevent the spread of spores, bacteria, viruses, and othermicrobial species if you are talking about cruiseships. You'd need to disinfect people when they get off the ship, prevent them from leaving anything on shore (such as money, which is probably the most filthiest of all items that a person typically owns), forbid the people from using toilets, etc.

Let's be clear about this. If the cruiselines and local authorities were interested in safeguarding the agriculture of the destination, they would put in restriction about taking off ships certain foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, and raw meat, just like they do in border checks into US, Europe, California, and other jurisdictions, and would allow other foods off the ship.

The total prohibition on taking off food from the ship simply makes people pay twice for food. It is about wringing as much money from the tourists as possible. Agricultural safety is just an excuse.

Can someone point to me a peer-reviewed scientific article that would show that my thinking is wrong? (And yes, I am a PhD scientist)
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New to cruising, but an experienced traveler
Philadelphia area
600 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by NoobCruise
Also, a single insect flying off the boat is unlikely to reproduce on its own. However, insects don't lay a single egg. They lay eggs in sheets, which then pruduce male and female, which then reproduce.

This is a microscopic image of eggs on an avocado seed

http://cisr.ucr.edu/ssp_director/alb...ocado_Seed.JPG

and when this piece of stonefruit was ripe and tasty, these larvae were eggs and probably would not have been noticed by you

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agricultur...cted-fruit.jpg
Thank you NoobCruise, I appreciate your post about dangers of brining raw fruit off the cruise ships. And I agree with you that fresh fruits and vegetables should not be taken off ships.

Endangering local agriculture for the sake of a snack is simply wrong.
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New to cruising, but an experienced traveler