Often, we find ourselves walking into the supermarket and being greeted by piles and piles of fresh, perfect-looking produce. Fruits stacked to the ceiling, all juicy and glistening, plump berries in plastic baskets, unblemished tomatoes and onions, they all wait for us to take them home and use them in salads, stir-fries, and smoothies. True that it’s a beautiful, colorful sight but is a crime against the environment that most us are ignorant about.
Grocery stores and supermarkets pressurize local dealers and farmers by accepting only the “perfect-looking” produce which means that a large number of fresh produce goes to waste because they are not aesthetically pleasing to our eyes. However, since a few months now, the movement to encourage the buying and selling of ugly produce is growing. Let us find out the shocking statistics behind produce that goes to the waste and learn how to differentiate between produce that looks ugly and the produce that is truly bad.
Issues With Soil
Growing Conditions Matter
Sometimes, rough weather conditions affect the appearance of fruits and vegetables but do not affect their nutrition levels. For example, a certain strawberry field experiencing less sunlight and colder conditions fuse the fruits together and form into an enlarged, odd shape. Although they do not form into the exact strawberry shape, those “super-strawberries” only look that way but contain the same nutrition as the beautiful-shaped ones do.
Of Ugly Produce
We, the common people, do not like to buy the fruits and vegetables that are imperfect in their appearances, which is why grocery stores reject them too. It has been found that around 40 percent of the produce grown in the United States are classified as ugly. Of these, only some are rotten or diseased. Globally, around one-third of fresh produce goes to waste due to their imperfect appearance. When 50 million Americans have been reported to suffer from hunger, why should we waste such a massive quantity of food?
Check Well Before Buying
It is highly recommended that the ugly produce you buy is checked properly. Since you are buying ugly produce, make sure that you are only choosing products that are simply deformed or blemished and not those that are truly diseased or rotten. To check if your ugly produce is safe and equally nutritious, remember the following tips:
1. Minor blemishes on the surface with no major bruising or soft spots
2. Just a misshapen but the structure is safe
3. Only larger than its average size
4. Only has an inconsistent color or texture