The Beauty of Produce Is In the Eye of The Beholder: Don’t Overlook Buying Fruits and Veggies That Were “Born This Way”

Monday, April 6, 2015
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Above: Andrew shot — and bought! — this lovable bunny-shaped potato at the Union Square Greenmarket

“AWESOME!”
Jordan Figueiredo @UglyFruitAndVeg, a food waste activist based in northern California, commenting via Twitter on Andrew’s potato photo above

“Let’s reshape the world!”
Dana Cowin @fwscout, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, commenting via Twitter on Andrew’s carrot photos below

We love that others (including Jordan Figueiredo @UglyFruitAndVeg) shared our enthusiasm yesterday (via Facebook and Twitter) for the shot Andrew took (above) at the Union Square Greenmarket of a “perfectly-shaped potato” for an Easter celebration.

While we reveled in this potato’s uniqueness — especially given the Easter holiday — we’re aware that we’ve long been too conditioned to prize uniformity in our produce.

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This has led to a sad waste of more than 20 percent of produce based simply on its size, shape, color, or appearance — produce that is at least as delicious and nutritious as its more conventional-looking cousins.

This, in turn, has led to EndFoodWaste.org‘s creation of the “Ugly Fruit & Veg” campaign to encourage major retailers to sell unusual-looking produce, and to encourage consumers to buy it — so that 20 percent can be significantly reduced.

The next time you’re at the Union Square Greenmarket or your own local farmers market, be sure to include some so-called “ugly” fruits and vegetables in your purchase to do your part to help shrink the pressing problem of food waste.  We bet you’ll find a lot to love about them.

More on Reducing Food Waste Through Buying “Ugly” Fruit and Vegetables:

Jordan Figueiredo‘s EndFoodWaste.org, an organization that’s striving “to end food waste, hunger, and climate change – all at the same time.”

NPR’s The Salt: Maria Godoy‘s “Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again.”  (3.26.15)

Time magazine’s Dan Mitchell on “Why People Are Falling In Love with Ugly Food.”  (3.27.15)

Forbes magazine’s Todd Essig underscores the gist of the “X Factor” portion of our Flavor Equation (i.e., Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + The X Factor) in his article “Don’t Waste ‘wastED’:  Changing Food Stories Leads To Happier, Healthier Eating.”

In March 2015, Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin launched the hashtag campaign #LoveUglyFood and delivered a TEDx talk in Manhattan titled How Ugly, Unloved Food Can Change the World,” which you can watch here:

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