Take my word for it, my farming credentials are impeccable. I’ve grown up around commercial fruit and vegetable farmers my entire life, and I know that the tasty, tree/vine-ripened, organically safe stuff rarely make it onto the supermarket shelf because retailers want their produce uniform in size, unblemished and picked firm and barely ripe so they won’t spoil before sold. As a result, mega-tons of fruits and vegetables are rejected for purely cosmetic reasons. Millions of people are suffering from malnutrition and billions of dollars of food are tossed out because they don’t rise to the aesthetic standards of clueless urbanites who believe that beauty trumps taste. What’s equally sad is that many city-dwellers don’t know how a real tree-ripened apricot, peach or cherry should taste. Shame!
Thankfully, Intermarche, the third largest supermarket chain in France, is championing equal rights for “inglorious fruits and vegetables” by launching a full-scale print, video, radio, poster, and in-store branding campaign. Intermarche has even given these long-forsaken products their own in-store aisle, labeling and spot on the sale receipt. Today more than 300 million tons of fresh produce are thrown away annually worldwide, often by the growers themselves who know they won’t sell. Intermarche’s Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables movement needs to catch on worldwide. Ugly fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be rejected because they won’t win any design awards. Embrace them for their inner beauty and goodness. Mother Nature will bless you.