Did you ever notice how the fruits and vegetables at your grocery store all kind of look the same?
Uniform. Perfect. All in a row... same color... same shape.
But let's get real. When it comes to nutrition, looks don't really matter — it's what's on the inside that counts. (You know, kind of like with people?)
Our obsession with beauty and perception is pure Hollywood drip - leaking into other areas of our life. This expectation does not belong on our food. Like humans, food is beautiful in any form. Big Box Grocery stores actually believe that we require 'beautiful' or 'perfect' looking produce in order to feel like it's clean and safe. Oddly shaped or off color produce isn't good enough. (And the problem is, we haven't told them they are wrong, so they just keep on thinkin' it.) Let's change that.
Food that's getting thrown away is completely edible — it just doesn't look perfect. That's because 26% of all produce is thrown away before farmers sell it to grocery stores. Every year, the United States throws away one-third of all the food it produces — 133 billion pounds of food. And grocery stores are responsible for tossing 10% of that food.
Without launching an all-out attack, let's break down some reasons why the corporations feel the need to do this:
//The reality is visual - a better stocked display makes for better sales
//The reality is financial - sales are king. So they'll focus on what sells - and we've been 'telling' them (voting with our fork) that we only like the pretty ones when we buy only the perfect-looking ones, leading grocers' to focus on/selling what works
//The reality is laziness - it's easier to throw away imperfect food rather than risking buying it and having to market it to a questionable audience
Just like our air-brushed society, our obsession with perfection and unattainable ideals encompasses our food as well. The magazine racks lining the grocery store line-up, enticing you with their distorted reality are displaying the same vein as the impeccably perfect peppers or oranges, all in a row, all the same. If nature wanted all food to be perfectly shaped - it would have made them that way. But Nature Wins. (We lose by culling whats natural but doesn't fit our high standards.) [What You Dont' Know About Expiry Dates]
Fight it Peacefully
// buy the ugly turnip
// check the discount rack - if it's not moldy, it's still good!
// ask your local grocery to offer a discount rack if they don't have one - that you'd rather buy 'not so perfect' veggies and fruit and still give them some money for it
// shop at your local farmers market and buy the odd-looking ones. Weird is good too.
// support the [Ugly Fruits + Veg Campaign]
If the awareness of this movement grows, not only do more veggies get eaten, and less will go to waste as we work to change the beliefs of the big box guys. We'll also be helping our desperately-in-need-of-a-shift-food-system by communicating our needs more clearly to the people who try to fill them.
Where's your will to be weird?