In Australia, 45% – almost half – of all fruit and vegetables are not eaten. That’s a lot of waste – waste of the water, the fertiliser, the effort and people-power that grows the food.
Last week I went to Sydney Uni’s event about food waste. It was a very inspiring , with academics, and the founders of Oz Harvest and the Youth Food Movement as speakers.
All the speakers made the point that we’re pretty fussy about how our food looks, and this is a big factor in how much fruit and vegetable food waste there is. It’s terrible, especially considering these fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious.
- Why does so much ugly food not get eaten?
In supermarkets, people choose the beautiful fruit and vegetables, and so the ugly fruit and vegetables are thrown out.
- This means that supermarkets ask farmers to only provide perfect looking fruit, and the ugly produce is thrown out before it reaches us.
There’s been a fun video doing the rounds of social media about a French supermarket that is tackling this problem:
So what can WE do about the superficial buying of produce?
I challenge you to buy the ugliest fruit and vegetables you can. This may mean shopping at the greengrocer instead of the supermarket, or venturing to your local farmers market. And then you could share it on social media – and inspire other to do the same!
Or alternatively let your supermarket know that you want to buy ugly fruits and vegetables – consider writing to your local supermarket (Coles, Woolworths), or sharing the ‘inglorious fruit and vegetables’ video on their facebook pages (Coles’ Facebook, Woolworths’ Facebook) – showing them an example of how it’s done elsewhere!
What else can we do about food waste?
• Plan your shop, to minimise leftovers, and make sure to eat those leftovers
• Oz Harvest has a whole lot of food saving projects (Volunteer or donate)
• You could also join the Youth Food Movement, who do a few excellent events each year.
There are so many good things to do to make a difference!
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