According to the United Nations, 20 to 40 percent of fresh food is thrown away by farmers because they don’t look as appetizing as they should to sell. Besides looking a bit crooked, twisted or shrugged, these fruits and vegetables are perfectly edible and taste no different than the perfectly shaped ones you’re always on the lookout for in the supermarket.
Acknowledging this dreadful waste, the European Union has started a campaign to raise awareness and convince consumers eating unaesthetic veggies is perfectly fine. To this aim, they’ve teamed up with French retailer Intermarche for a pilot campaign called the “Inglorious Vegetables and Fruits”. Working together with farmers and retail stores, ugly vegetables and fruits were sold with a 30% discount, much to the delight of customers who flocked to the stands, proving they need not much convincing. Everybody seems to be happy: customers get tasty fresh food at a hefty discount, farmers earn more by selling products which would have otherwise been discarded, and retailers can benefit from a greater sales volume. The fresh food pie just got bigger!
The little town of Provins, outside Paris, where the first such Intermache experiment was made is not alone. In Portugal, a food cooperative called Fruta Feia (Ugly Fruit) buys produce too gnarly for supermarkets and sells it to customers, reports the New York Times. A similar initiative is preparing to run in the United Kingdom.