Jimmy surveys consumers to find out that all would choose a straight cucumber over a curved one. He then visits the biggest cucumber glass house in Britain to discover how they produce straight cucumbers. The farmer shows the 185,000 cucumber plants and explains that if the cucumber is unobstructed it will go straight. If the cucumbers grow too curvy they will be rejected by the supermarkets even though they taste exactly the same.
This clip could be used to reflect upon the impact of consumer and supermarket demands for uniform produce with limited variations or imperfections (quality assurance and control).
It demonstrates how sophisticated horticulture techniques, such as the arrangement of the vines and use of natural pest control methods, are used to reduce the number of cucumbers that fall outside the acceptable tolerances. Students could be encouraged to discuss the pros and cons of uniform produce.