I have exciting news to share. Recently, Huffington Post accepted me as a contributor. My first piece “10 Ways to Make “Ugly” Fruits and Vegetables Beautiful” is live. I hope that you are as excited as I am.
Here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure and of course you can read the whole article on Huffington Post. Please check it out and comment over there on your opinions about food waste and the growing trend for using “ugly” food. Oh, and don’t miss the 10 included recipes!
“In our beauty-obsessed society, we demonize anything less than perfect, including fruits and vegetables.
“Ugly” food is the misfits. It’s the misshapen, off colored, too small or too large, less than perfect fruits and vegetables. While still completely healthy, tasty and nutritious, “ugly” produce adds to the six billion tons of wasted fresh fruits and vegetables each year in the United States.
Growing up on a produce farm in Eastern North Carolina, I can witness that a fruit or vegetable does not change its taste or flavor just because its shape ranges outside the “perfect” shape. In fact, many heirloom varieties are shaped much differently than the hybrid varieties gracing grocery store shelves today. And quite often, the heirlooms taste better than modern varieties, because most modern hybrid breeding strives for shape, color and shelf-life, rather than taste.”
The wasting of “ugly” food really is a tragic waste of beautiful tasty food. Even we discount the starving people around the world and that everything we raise uses the planet’s resources, we are wasting YUMMY food just for the sake of eating what is “perfect.”
Personally, I think “perfect” food is a little like “perfect” people: it might look pretty on the outside but that still doesn’t mean it looks good on the inside. I also think it’s a little sad that it takes a trend to make “ugly” food “cool” to eat. But at the same time, I’m thrilled people are finally taking notice that this food is being wasted.
In our travels, we’ve noticed the Italian trend of not taking home leftover food from restaurants. It’s actually considered a faux pas to ask for your leftovers to be boxed and you’re immediately labeled a tourist if you do. If you’ve ever spent much time in Italy, then you know being labeled as a tourist is not a good thing. But the food rules are changing. The Italians are now spending € 1 million in a campaign to help reduce food waste by making it “cool” to take home doggy bags. And it’s a law that stores and farmers must donate excess food.
The French are also working hard to stop food waste. Not only did they make it a law but have heavy fines for stores who do not donate their excess food.
Since the US is one of the largest food wasters in the world, it will be encouraging to see more being done about it. Locally in Colorado, much of the extra food is donated, but there is still a long ways to go in both Colorado and the US as a whole.
So do your part. Eat the “ugly” food. It’s not going to hurt you just because it looks a little different. In fact, I think you’ll find it’s just as tasty or in some cases yummier. Other ways to reduce food waste is to stop overbuying, make sure you eat what you buy before it goes bad and
And work on other ways to reduce food waste, such as stop overbuying, make sure you eat what you buy before it goes bad and start canning or freezing the excess for later. You’ll find that not only, you reduce food waste but you’ll save some money.