Embrace imperfection: Celebrating ugly veggies


Worldwide nearly 800 million people are hungry, yet every year about a third of the planet’s food produce is wasted, just because it isn’t deemed to be “perfect”. That is enough food to feed around 2 billion people!

“Ugly” produce is just as fresh and tastes exactly the same as “normal” produce. Perhaps it is only thought of as “ugly” because it is slightly bigger or smaller (or a different shape) than the fruit and vegetables that you are used to seeing in supermarkets, so #dontdiscriminate.
Most supermarkets believe that any produce that looks slightly odd or misshapen will not sell as well as "normal" looking produce, which means that, until recently, these foods were rejected and didn't make it onto the shelves. 

Linking to this, a National Geographic article has quoted the vice president of Fresh Foods at the Food Marketing Institute as saying: 

“It’s all about quality and appearance, and only the best appearance will capture the share of the consumer’s wallet.” 

Although some of the produce that doesn’t meet supermarkets’ standards is donated to food banks, most of it is just wasted.
We need to stop this unnecessary waste because a lot of people across the globe don’t get enough to eat, plus we could hugely decrease the amount of produce that is wasted each year. To stop this from happening we need to show supermarkets that we don’t mind eating fruit and vegetables that look a bit different.
In the US alone about 26% of produce is wasted before it even reaches the stores. If the supermarkets (and grocery stores) realise that people don’t mind what their fruit and vegetables look like (it's all going to look the same when you’ve chopped it up anyway) we will be able to seriously reduce this figure as well as world famine.
By wasting food we are also wasting the amount of water, fertilizer, pesticides, seeds, fuel and land needed to grow it. Globally, the annual production of uneaten food uses as much water as the entire annual flow of the Volga (Europe’s largest river).
For more information please visit: www.nationalgeographic.com

If you come across any ugly looking produce please send photographs to [email protected] They may even make an appearance on our Twitter feed.