When we buy food, we are all looking for the brightest and smoother apple, lettuce stain free and well-rounded and well calibrated tomato. Yet, imperfect and uncalibrated vegetables are also good for consumption. Why?
Advertising campaigns against food waste in France
We all remember the advertising campaign conducted by a supermarket which advocated the benefits of “curvy” fruits and vegetables. This campaign was launched to fight against food waste. Indeed, for example, almost 30% of fruit and vegetables grown and produced in France are excluded from sales channels and never arrive in the consumer’s plate. Even worse, 10% of them are simply thrown away! This is an aberration. What is the reason for this irrational behavior? These products are stained, quirky or not calibrated. In short, they are “ugly”.
“Ugly” fruits and vegetables production simply means respect of the environment
The voice of the campaign expanded abroad. It attracted the attention of the American entrepreneurs. They created partnerships with supermarkets to successfully market these products at prices 30-50% cheaper, just as in France.
Worldwide, 40% of food production is thrown away in the trash (especially in industrialized countries). In case of France, the numbers are: 20 kg of food per year per person In the United States, that figure stands at 3 billion tonnes of food thrown away each year. In addition to waste, 7% of US production is left on the agriculture land. The products rot in the soil and release methane, a colorless gas that contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect and the hole in the ozone layer.
Consumption of “ugly” fruits and vegetables, an ecological act
Buying uncalibrated products certainly helps to fight against waste, but it also helps to preserve water, which is essential for the survival of the planet. Large amounts of water are used to irrigate the fields because of the drought that is affecting more and more regions. In the US for example, specifically in California, 80% of water is used for agriculture. 95 liters are needed to produce 1 kg of fruit or vegetables. Throwing 1 kilo of these products is like to let the tap to run for 22 minutes!
Products may be ugly, but good for consumption
Small sized fruits and vegetables, twisted or outlandish are victims of their odd shape. They do not match the procurement specifications of the supermarkets, but they do not take into account the taste and prefer only well-calibrated and good-looking products. However, these “ugly” foods are good for consumption and taste more like the fruits and vegetables that grow in our gardens!
Organic fruits and vegetables are often less beautiful
Organic fruits and vegetables are not standardized and do not have a well-defined class. As they are grown without chemicals, they grow naturally and have different sizes and have brown spots.
The taste of this “ugly” organic food is much better than the calibrated food and stain free. Since they contain less water, they have more flavors and even cooked, they retain their volume. It is also good to consume their skin because it does not contain pesticides or other synthetic chemicals. It is the skin that contains all the necessary antioxidants that fight against free radicals responsible for many diseases and infections.
Organic fruits and vegetables have higher concentration in vitamin C, E and beta-carotene (20 to 35% more) than those from conventional farming, according to a study conducted by Professor Joyeux.
The fight against food waste is an ecological act that saves nature.