I find those labels stuck on the sides of fruit and vegetables to be somewhat annoying - they don't always peel off and often leave a sticky residue behind. However, I'm not sure I would trade them in for a laser etched carving? A company called Natural Light Technology has invented a machine that can etch barcodes, expiration dates, logos etc. on the skin of soft and hard produce. They claim that since nothing comes in contact with the produce there is no harm.

Because this removal process has been designed not to penetrate the surface or skin of the produce, it does not promote decay, reduce shelf-life, or deform the produce. In fact, if you run your finger across an etched label, you will not be able to feel it at all.

Part of me wants to really like this idea, as it looks pretty cool and makes it easier to read at the checkout (think of all the times you've taken produce to the checkout and they can't figure out the number to key in). However it seems so far from the farm and looks a bit weird. What do you guys think?

Source: Hydroponics and Chew On That via Tastespotting