"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Inglorius fruit and vegetables

RMan aping the eggplant LOL
Those of us who grow our own fruit and vegetables know that we don't harvest perfect specimens every time.  But - the shape of the fruit or vegetable does not affect the nutritive value, and, apart from the short  space of time between it growing on the plant and being harvested, and landing up either as juice or a meal portion, is, normally very brief.

I have never bothered what the produce looks like.  In fact the more absurd they look, the more I love picking them - like the aubergine at the top of this posting that gave me the thumbs up :)
So, the carrots on the left are not as appetising
to look at - but, does that make them any less
nutritious?  They are not dried out and wilted,
merely malformed.
But, it has never occurred to me that those odd-looking, non-perfect fruit and vegetables are not acceptable to shops.  That, in fact, the farmer cannot send them to market...
... and, how do I know?
The deformed carrot - advocating peace :)
Because I was sent the following link.
Check it out :)
Personally, if there was a supermarket / greengrocer here that had sold produce like that when I still had to buy mine, I would've had no hesitation in purchasing from them.
Hats off to Inter Marche - for seeing the bigger picture.
The Ugly Clementine
I never gave that it a thought, but now that I do, I can see that every fruit and veggie available in the shops has to look "perfect".  How ridiculous - when so many people are starving worldwide.
They are certainly stepping up to the plate - with or without the pun - and committing themselves 100% to the 2014 European Year against food waste.  I hope they get all, and more, of the support from their customers that they deserve.

Mankind really is taking perfection too far.

Which begs the question.  Can we afford to be that picky about what our fruit and vegetables look like...?


  1. As an apartment dweller, I have no place for a garden, so a goodly share of the fruits and vegetables I can and dehydrate each year come from the Farmer's Market. Much of that produce is less than perfect. But the taste is so much better than any supermarket fare. Last fall I got a huge bag of wonky looking carrots that were the best tasting I've had in years. And the prices were way less than the store prices. Those who turn up their noses at less than perfect produce just have no idea what they are missing!

    1. Vicki - Exactly. Unfortunately, farmer's markets here are few and far between, so I always had to buy from supermarkets. Thankfully, not any more... ;)

  2. Dani - when i first started growing our own veggies and fruits - i couldn't understand why my carrots and potatoes, etc. came out so funny looking??!?!? after some additional research and years of growing, i now know that imperfect-looking fruits and veg are way more delicious than store-bought stuff that is perfect-looking and i actually want my fruit and veg to look imperfect! to me, the more imperfect they look - the better they are! i absolutely love each and every little individual imperfect fruit or veg - and then when i get a perfect one, i love it, too!

    i am not the first one to say that the world has gone completely crazy, but that is what i think. i am just glad that there are those of us who are still sane, still try to live in ways that our grandparents did, still try to teach others...and Dani, you are one of the best!

    your friend,

    1. kymber - I'm blushing LOL, but kymber - you are above me at top of the list, my friend :)

  3. Our big Walmart throws away vast amounts of vegetables here when they are still perfectly good. They don't give them away, and they won't even let farmers have them to feed to their pigs. Nope, they have to be thrown in the dumpster. No one at Walmart could tell me why except that the company is afraid of being sued over some niggling thing. I don't worry about what a vegetable looks like, I'm more concerned with what it costs. Fresh vegetables are getting very pricey here.

    1. Harry - Years ago when we were still iving in town we had a fruit juice franchise and supplied restaurants. We saw the inside of every restaurant kitchen :( and the amount of perfectly good food that was thrown away. When I enquired of one of the restaurant owners if I could not possibly have that food to add to the meal that I purchased the ingedients for and provided to the homeless once a week, he said no. He said that if his staff saw me taking it they would think they could too - and he feared that his stock losses would escalate as they also took his "wase" food home.

      Understandable. But VERY sad. And completely ludicrous and rediculous!!!

      All those starving millions worldwide.

  4. What a lovely post...and not only does it apply to strange fruit I also find that people that look less than perfect ( by magazine standards ) and are a bit eccentric are also far more interesting and full of character.

    1. African Bliss - LOL - when you finally get here, I have the perfect person for you to meet... ;)

  5. Gardeners know this, but increasingly the rest of us are so disconnected from real food that we assume that unless the veggies/fruit are all perfectly unblemished and uniform in shape and size, then there is something wrong with them. In fact the industrial system has largely replaced traditional more tasty and nutritious varieties with inferior varieties that are uniformly shaped and that have a longer shelf life.

    If a commercial grower delivers a truck load of product to a wholesaler or grocery store chain here and upon inspection a misshapen vegetable is discovered, they can (and often do) reject the entire shipment and it usually ends up dumped in a landfill. Just another indication of our food insanity.

    Thanks for the reminder. Here's to "ugly" veggies and those who love them. :)

    1. Bill - That "rejection" is appalling!!!! And then - to send that to landfill. Think of all those farmers who could feed those "rejects" to their animals... Or even to those places who feed the poor / homeless...

  6. Excellent post. We are addicted to perfection, drilled into us by the media.


    1. AV - We have allowed ourselfs to be manipulated by the media, not so? Well, most of "us"... If starvation had to rear it head to a larger percentage of the population, that situation may be reversed.


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