Buying Ugly Fruits and Vegetables
I was at my local Raley’s yesterday evening when I saw a sign at the door for reduced pricing on “Imperfect Produce” – a program offering flawed fruits and vegetables for up to 30% off. I immediately flashed back to John Oliver’s program on food waste and his breakdown of our very flawed produce standards here in the states, how we waste insane amounts of food during harvests and continue to waste resources transporting, cleaning and distributing produce only to throw out another large batch totaling 40% of all food grown in the United States getting tossed into landfills. A moment later I realized I was blocking the entrance to the store so I made my way over to the fruits and vegetables and found that the imperfect produce was certainly imperfect, but nothing that I wouldn’t eat. As I stood there, I looked out at the apples that weren’t perfectly round, the doubled-up tomatoes and the peppers that aren’t quite one solid color or are slightly misshapen. I can’t really see how this can’t be normalized, we’d have grown up never really “knowing better” – and what does that even entail really? We’re reared to cower in fear at the sight of a bruised up banana, but frying and eating a pig’s rear-end is perfectly normal? I can only imagine the twisted marketing that might go into getting shoppers to buy and eat imperfect meat.
This put me into “Google mode” and I came across the following Twitter account, @UglyFruitAndVeg, wholly dedicated to depicting appetizingly imperfect produce over the course of thousands of tweets, and it seems to be getting popular with almost 20,000 followers as of this writing.
I’d rate this one as a pretty straight-forward issue for anyone on the fence. I get it, it’s nice when you go to the market and find beautiful fruits to put on display at the kitchen table and eat up throughout the week. I myself melt a little almost every time I go grocery shopping for my soon-to-be delicious vegetable stir-fries that I’ll be eating throughout the week, but there’s little reason for this unnecessary discriminatory behavior against aesthetically imperfect produce. It’s completely absurd to think we’re throwing out almost half of our food because of a stigma that shouldn’t exist in the first place with such a high amount of meat-eating going on and so many resources utilized just to grow and move the produce in the first place. I don’t know about all of my readers, but it tastes the same, saves me money and prevents food waste. Sounds like a win, win, win.
Image source: http://www.imperfectproduce.com/