Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ugly Fruit Movement

Celebrity Chef and food activist Jamie Oliver is on a new mission to bring Ugly fruit back to your grocery stores.

There is a problem when 40% of all food produced in the world is just getting tossed out before it even gets to a consumer and it's madness when there is so much food insecurity in the world.

I bet you never really notice that all of the fruits and vegetables in a majority of grocery stores always looks almost perfect.  Well there is no such thing as perfection in real life.  People are flawed and so are fruits and vegetables.  That doesn't mean that the 40% of fruits and veg that are chucked because they don't look good don't have a value in life.  What if we chucked all the ugly people in the world?  Unfortunately society seems to be trying to make this happen with plastic surgery and the terrorist extremists that want everyone in the world to be like them.   The world is supposed to have everything in it.  Everything is connected in the Universe and there is a reason for the differences.

In France they have a grocery store chain that wanted to take action on all of the Ugly fruit or not so perfect end of day produce that they had before chucking it in the bin they decided to turn it into juices and soups that they would sell in the store at a discounted price.  Their sales went up exponentially.  So why don't more people adopt this idea?  I am sure there are economic reasons for this but what if we took all the produce that isn't picture perfect from the fields and set up a community co-op where people from lower incomes or people in need could access this produce at reduced prices.  Here's another stretch, what if we took those fruits and vegetables and gave them to Seniors long term care facilities to turn into juices and soups that would nourish seniors with dietary and other issues and customize the nutrients that they would get.   What if they had Vitamix blenders that they had a few Vitamix blenders on each floor to produce purees, soups, smoothies, juices etc for the patients?   Wouldn't that be better than the processed dead awful food that is served to frail seniors in these homes?

I saw firsthand the horrible food that seniors ate when my mother was in a facility for the last year and a half of her life.  I think the terrible nutrition probably contributed to the cause of her death.   I tried to bring her things sometimes but she didn't always want it.  A lot of seniors refuse to eat their food mostly because they don't like it or they have difficulties eating.  Soups and smoothies that taste good and are at the peak of nutrition could certainly help in these cases.   I understand why the institutions serve the processed food because their hands are tied on the actual funding they get to operate the facilities and the costs of storing food and the staff to handle it.   But what if food direct from the field was delivered to the facilities a couple of times a week and the produce was turned into soups and juices that could be frozen if there was excess?  Wouldn't that be a cost saving?  What if the government subsidized the process of farmers donating the food that would go to landfill to be donated to institutions of all kinds.. Schools, healthcare facilities and correctional institutes.   What if food banks got donations of the ugly fruits and vegetables to give to people in need?   If 40% of food is already going to the landfills before it goes to market and 40-50% of people in the world are suffering from lack of nutrition doesn't it just make sense to re-distribute this food?   It doesn't matter what the fruits and vegetables look like when they are blended into a soup or smoothie or even a puree because it's just all blended up and blemishes are all hidden in the blended goodness.   What if you wanted to make a tomato soup and you had a choice to buy wonky tomatoes at half the cost of the pretty looking ones?  Which would you choose if you were living paycheck to paycheck?

I take a lot of photos of fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and from the produce I buy at grocery stores and realized that I didn't have too many wonky fruit and vegetable pictures.  This means that this stuff never hits my food suppliers shelves.

I just sent an email to a local Organic Grocery store to think about getting on board of the Ugly Fruit movement.  What if you all sent letters and emails to the places you buy your produce from to tell them you want to see the ugly fruits and veg in their stores and you would go out of your way to purchase them if they sell them at a lower price.   How would this change things?  Think about it.   Wouldn't it be great if you could ship your leftovers to people in third world countries that don't even have a piece of bread to eat?  Well that might not be possible yet but this is doable if we all make a little bit of effort.

Join Jamie Oliver in his mission to bring Ugly fruit to your local markets and give them a purpose instead of letting them produce gases in our landfills.    If we don't think about doing this our whole planet could turn into a landfill eventually.    Try and watch the movie Soylent Green and see a science fiction movie about what they thought the planet would turn into in the future.

The Safeway in Alberta puts what it calls it's misfits on sale in their grocery store.
Would you buy this?
What do you think about this?  Would it work?  Share your thoughts below.

If you want to see this change tell your local grocer that you want to see this happen.  The more demand the more they will change.


  1. I LOVE ugly. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I bought some bruised apples today that I found in the reduced section of the organic supermarket which I frequent. My intention was to cook with them. Mr. J was not happy that he would have to eat bruised apples so I told him that just because the fruit isn't perfect does not mean it should be thrown in the garbage. How about if we applied that same principle to people? Not cool. And then there was silence.


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