Don’t discriminate because of their appearance! Get to know this sustainble food movement that loves fruits and veggies in all shapes and sizes.
Trends and fads in the nutrition world are constantly changing, many of which revolve around the latest superfoods or diets.
Nowadays, consumers are asking for more transparency and sustainability in their food ventures, requesting ‘farm-to-fork’, ‘all-natural’, and ‘non-GMO’ foods in restaurants and grocery stores. Traditional farming practices are under the limelight, advocacy groups are petitioning for legislation change, and brands are adjusting their development strategy based on consumer demands. It’s a step in a positive direction as more and more consumers are demanding transparency from the food industry to shape up. Don’t ever question yourself when asking for confirmation that your guacamole did, in fact, come from an avocado rather than a green food dye and mayo.
Besides the food that makes it onto your plate, it’s also important to know the whole story and arm yourself with information about what’s going on behind the scenes. This includes all the so-called unattractive food that didn’t make it to your plate, and never will, because they were never given the chance to try. (Cue violins.)
Interesting fact: We waste 20-40% of fruits and vegetables worldwide, rejecting millions of perfectly nutritious produce based solely on aesthetics.
Meanwhile, millions of people around the globe go hungry, living in undernourished communities with limited access to the very same foods we overlooked. Often times, produce is rejected by a retailer (or doesn’t even make it past the farm), ending up in a landfill to release methane into the air to contribute to more buildup of greenhouse gases and climate change in the environment.
Food waste is such a huge problem, and it is up to us to stop the trend. So finally, a true activist and veggie superhero decided to shed some light on the issue by calling out consumers and retailers alike to change their ways.
Enter, the Ugly Fruit and Vegetable Campaign.
Retailers normally reject this ‘imperfect produce’ because they feel it won’t sell. The Ugly Fruit and Vegetable Campaign is encouraging all retailers to purchase the produce regardless and sell it with a 30% – 50% markdown if needed, therefore minimizing food waste as well as increasing fruit and vegetable access to shoppers on a tight budget.
The campaign has been vastly successful in outreach efforts to Whole Foods, triumphantly landing ugly produce in Whole Foods stores nationwide. Campaign efforts also turned to Walmart, another massive offender of rejecting less than perfect produce. Consumers are encouraged to understand that ugly fruits and vegetables are not any less nutritious than their better-looking counterparts.
(Shout out to parents everywhere, teaching their children that it’s what’s on the inside that matters!)
Here is your own personal call to action:
- Check out where you can buy ugly fruit and vegetables near you.
- Stay informed and sign petitions like this one: What the fork are you doing with your produce Walmart.
- If you’re a social-media guru, lend some love to the Ugly Fruit and Vegetable campaign and follow their social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
And lastly, buy ugly produce.
Feed it to your guests and observe. Did anyone notice a taste difference? Nope. Did you just do your part to help reduce food waste? Yeah you did. High five, homie.
One step closer to a hunger-free world.
Adapted from the original article.
Marissa Thiry, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Orange County, CA with a passion for health, wellness, and delicious food. With her love of innovating in the kitchen and testing unique flavors from different cultures, Marissa helps others understand that eating should be an experience, not a task. Make a visit to read more from Marissa.