The most imperfect, perfect food

Describe for a minute the perfect apple or tomato.  Is it round, red, shiny, perfect with no imperfections? Now close your eyes and describe the perfect tomato. Is it firm, rich in texture and flavor, just picked and juicy? 

When we are children we are told that looks don’t matter as much as what is inside and we try and follow this rule when selecting friends or companions.  However, we seem to have forgotten that looks are not as important when we select our fruits and vegetables. In the aisle at the grocery store we want perfect, flawless, stunning when we should desire fresh, nutritious and tasty.

Are looks all that matter when we pick our fruits and vegetables? A French grocery store chain (Intermarche) took a different approach when trying to deal with the large amounts of food waste resulting from those imperfect fruits and veggies being left behind on the loading dock.  The campaign “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” was launched to help cost conscious consumers and cut down on food waste. 

The “Hideous Orange” and other produce aisle misfits starred in the campaign which included a reduced cost aisle in the store and products made from the misfits to show taste and looks are not connected. The results were amazing.  The misfits flew off the shelves and millions of tons of produce was purchased and consumed in just the first few weeks.  Many stores even sold out of these fruits and vegetables...can you imagine!

Consumers were getting quality, fresh food at a lower cost (30% cheaper) and the growers were able to sell what was once considered waste and garbage.  Food waste was reduced and more people ate healthy food. If it worked in France, why can’t we try it here? Getting kids to eat fruits and veggies can be a challenge; maybe superhero fruits starring in their own commercials because they are different might resonate with kids who understand that different is often unique, special and better. 

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