Think about how much food you throw away each week. Then multiple that by the number of households in the country. That is a huge amount of food going in the bin which could be put to better use. But this is only post-supermarket waste.
Pre-supermarket waste is happening every day and as we don’t see it, no one really knows how much fruit and veg never makes it to the supermarket shelves. If the produce doesn’t meet aesthetic standards that customers have long been accustomed too, they are thrown away either to use as animal feed/compost or just put into landfill. Wonky Vegetables states that ‘up to 40% of a crop of vegetables can be disregarded’ due to its shape or colour not matching requirements. Imagine all that waste for produce that won’t taste any different!
A fight back is in motion however with suppliers popping up offering to sell boxes ‘ugly’ or ‘wonky’ veg and deliver them to your door. These companies campaign for sustainable and environmentally friendly eating but are still relatively small and those desiring this produce is a fairly niche market but awareness and availability is certainly increasing.
However it is not just the selling that is the challenge, it is overcoming people’s judgement and making this type of fruit and veg ‘normal’. This is not necessarily our fault when it is the supermarkets that choose what we see, but we do have the power to make a change and support these small businesses trying to make a difference. Buying odd fruit and veg is great for the environment (less waste), more profitable for the farmers and can be cheaper for us to buy.
I think it’s about time these ugly fruit and veg had some TLC!
Good places to start making a change: