Fruit and Vegetables Don't Have to be the Perfect Shape
Now more than ever, customers and retailers are realising that it is okay to have wonky vegetables and fruits - they can taste just as good.
For too long, farmers whose crops have not complied with a prescribed perfection demanded by the supermarkets have had to jettison them. This is a horrific waste of good food and an unnecessary expense for food producers to bear.
Now with food shortages and an increasing cost of living crisis hitting many parts of the world, it becomes more important than ever that every bit of food is put to good use.
It is time to look for less perfection!
Often called wonky fruit and vegetables, these are the produce from farmers that are deemed unfit for supermarket shelves and are usually thrown away.
This is not because they taste any different but because they look less than perfect.
Despite no taste defaults, wonky products are often thrown away to landfills to rot, leading to a waste in energy and other resources as the products are produced alongside other regular fruit and vegetables. At other times, they are just plowed back into the ground or composted.
You might ask how consumers have allowed this to happen? They have been programmed to demand perfection in products found in their local supermarkets, creating the idea that discoloration or disfiguration reflects its quality or taste.
As a result millions of tons of food is wasted every year with so called "ugly veg" making up to 40% of fruit and vegetable waste.
It is time that supermarkets and consumers become committed to supporting farmers and producers by buying ALL of their crop.
How to change the public mindset
Here in the UK, some supermarkets are helping the cause agreeing to sell boxes of wonky fruit and veggies at a cheaper price. Jamie Oliver (the renowned celebrity chef) has thrown his support behind the encouragement of selling and consuming disfigured produce, actively campaigning to reduce food wastage in the UK. There are plenty of companies online who are selling boxes of wonky fruit and veg direct to the public.
For several years now, France has had special aisles in their supermarkets selling misshapen fruit and veggies more cheaply.
What about in the USA? While the world wastes about 1.4 billion tons of food every year, the United States discards more food than any other country in the world: nearly 40 million tons and estimated to be 30 to 40% of the entire US food supply with food being the single largest component taking up space inside US landfills.
Consumers will buy wonky products if cheap enough
According to the results of a new survey by retail marketing specialist Blue Yonder, consumers are more willing to buy misshapen and so-called ‘wonky’ fruits and vegetables, but they expect a price discount.
The research, which was carried out amongst 2,000 shoppers in the UK, USA, France and Germany, found that 73% would consider buying fresh produce which had natural flaws, but 90% said that they expected retailers to charge less for them than they would for regular fruit.
Of the four countries surveyed, France was the most accepting of misshapen produce with 93% of those questioned saying they would buy it if there was a discount.
How much food do you and your family waste?
Is it time for a re-think for you and your family.
We have written before on the subject of food waste and shared lots of tips on how to avoid this waste here.
Remember the old piece of advice - WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!
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