The Difference Choosing Ugly Vegetables Can Make – CityLab

If “grow it to sell it” was the revolutionary idea in farmers markets during the 1970s-1990, and “healthy food for everyone” was the call to arms for the last 25 years, then “use it all” has to be the next big idea for food system organizers. Keeping food out of the waste stream by encouraging use of the ugly food items is such a simple and elegant idea that it may very well finally connect the entrepreneurial to the environmental in food organizing.

Actually, it supports a corresponding and extraordinary idea that my pal Poppy Tooker created over a decade ago for her New Orleans/Gator region Slow Food work: “eat it to save it.”

(check out the previous post too, about the Farmer Foodshare project in North Carolina which addresses getting good food out of the garbage bin and to more eaters.)

The Difference Choosing Ugly Vegetables Can Make – CityLab.


Let’s retake ugly food too

This report makes a great point about our unease with ugly fruit. I believe that the entire responsibility DOES go to those supermarkets that started to stage light and wax fruit for display. They have lost the ability to lure people in with smells or bursting ripeness. Let me also say that the finger pointing to the consumer in this story as the culprit is unsubstantiated; we have become conditioned based how food has been presented in our lifetime, and it’s up to the farmers markets (once again!) to change that perception with gentle encouragement.
WE can bring back the ugly fruit too, by simply encouraging our farmers to bring “seconds” and then to promote them. Why not ask the farmers to bring a few boxes that are not perfect and do as the Monica family in New Orleans does- label the box “chef special” which, of course brings every serious home cook to peer in the box and then drop their jaw at the lower price.