Monday, June 16, 2008

European Union making a u-turn on the sale of 'wonky' produce

Ever go to a farmer's market, or get a chance to visit a real life organic farm?

What you'll find there aren't the perfect, shiny, everything-looks-the-exact-same kinds of fruits and veggies.

This our friends across the pond lovingly call 'wonky' produce. Carrots that bend a bit, peppers that are peppered with a little varied colors and shapes, cucumbers that may be a little off center in ways...but none of these oddly shaped or different colored produce items have anything wrong with them in the slightest.

It's a very cute story with a powerful message: There's a huge amount of high quality protein that could feed millions of people and its going to waste, only because it doesn't fit some preconceived notion of uniform.

Recently we filmed a segment in support of Veritable Vegetable, one of the oldest organic food distributors on the west coast (also women owned and 90% plus women operated):

When we went to visit Perry's Organic farm to film this segment, we learned that almost 15% of all the produce stays on the farm to turn into compost, because of its lack of 'image appeal' to supermarket buyers!

Imagine how much produce that is when you see the size of this small family farm, and realize if the majority of farms even average out to 5% of rejected food - how much of that could be going to help feed homeless veterans and hungry children.

The European Union is relaxing the ban on 'wonky' produce, creating a separate label and reduced pricing that will allow these different looking items to make it to market.

We should do this as well, and put pressure on our supermarkets to stock these items, because people need to know that life isn't always perfect - and with food and fuel prices going where they're going these days, we could all use a crooked carrot to wave around a bit - especially when it's half priced and twice as delicious!

Peace, Love and Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet family

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