I hate waste and will always refuse to see the logic that a misshapen vegetable is sub standard in flavour to its perfectly shaped counterpart. Yes they may not look like the conventional shaped uniform veg that we are used to seeing in the supermarkets, but where they lack in appearance they make up in abundance in taste. I defy anyone to taste a freshly pulled carrot or parsnip and decide that a plastic wrapped supermarket specimen is better. The homegrown, misshapen veg may be a little harder to prepare with their knobbly bits and uneven edges, but the taste is superlative.
What has prompted this rant I hear you ask????? An episode of Jimmy and Jamie’s Friday Night Feast highlighted the topic of ugly veg and this made me realise how fickle a society we really live in. The carrot and parsnip farmers who they spoke to claim that A grade vegetables (uniform and without blemishes and splits) can get up to £800 per ton yet the misshapen vegetables will sometimes earn them a mere £10 per ton. There are times that they cannot even get £10 per ton and the veg may even be destined for landfill or animal feed.
Allotmenteers are used to harvesting so called ugly veg, but we wouldn’t dream of throwing away a carrot that had 2/3 legs, a deformed potato or a curvy cucumber just because it doesn’t look right!
We need to change our mindset when it comes to shopping before the big supermarkets will get on board and start selling the non perfect vegetables. After all, they claim that it is customer demand that the produce they sell is perfect. We all need to realise that this is such a wasteful food resource, especially when there are half a million people within the UK that rely on food banks! Farmers abroad in third world countries are thankful that a vegetable has grown and are really not concerned with how it looks. It is a food resource to feed their family!
We should do more to support our local farmers wherever possible and encourage others to grow their own. This way, people will realise that looks are nothing compared to taste that should help to reduce waste.