It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?
Not always. Try telling that to the major supermarkets who reject a staggering amount of fresh produce because it doesn’t look ‘perfect’. In Australia alone, the CSIRO estimates that $1.7 billion worth of fruit and veg is wasted because they fail to meet strict cosmetic standards.
This is despite the fact that these so-called ‘ugly’ fruit and veg are just as yummy and nutritious as their more traditionally attractive counterparts.
Thankfully, a lot more is being done to reduce this food wastage. This includes transforming imperfect fruit and vegetables into fermented products, nutrient-dense powders, healthy snack foods for children and smoothies.
Other anti-waste schemes are going one step further and encouraging us to embrace the blemished, the misshapen and the just plain freaky. No makeovers necessary. You may have noticed this in your local supermarket where, for a reduced cost, you can buy a bag of pimply pears, lumpy lemons and carrots with horns (I wanted to avoid saying ‘horny carrots).
So why should we get on board the freaky fruit (and veg) train?
- It’s an excellent step towards reducing food wastage.
- There is some evidence that ‘ugly’ fruit and veg may actually be more nutrient-dense and therefore healthier.
- It’s a fun way to get kids interested in vegetables – though hopefully not so interested that they refuse to eat that cute tomato that looks like a teddy bear!
- It promotes the message that we should celebrate diversity, which will transfer to human relations, which will eventually lead to world peace (OK, maybe not).
Here are some examples of quirky fruit and veg that are almost too cute to eat.
The one-eyed frog
Sweet in more ways than one
These menacing onions will make you cry…
A sweet embrace
Aaand, later in the night…
To end on a bum note…