The appearance is one of the main causes of food wasting. Why does a fruit that has the same taste and health benefits than other is rejected by the consumers based only on its look?
We live in a society where the appearance is extremely important in all the domains. The slightest default on an apple can give the impression that the fruit is uneatable. The problem is that most of the time, fruits that are apparently perfect are fed in pesticides and also treated chemically to maintain the life and appearance for a longer time. In fact, the quality of a product should be based on it’s taste and aroma and it’s production (fair, organic but not manufacturer) etc and not only on its appearance. An organic fruit will not be perfect looking always but nevertheless will be the perfect fruit as it doesn’t have any poisonous chemicals on it.
“The only thing a customer can know about a piece of produce bought from a supermarket is what they can see,” explains Leonard Pallara, a farming consultant. “If they’re really thoughtful, they may smell it—but most supermarket produce has been refrigerated, which kills the aroma. So the single greatest determinant factor that a person has for picking a piece is appearance.” 1*
All fruits and vegetables are held to incredibly high aesthetic standards when it comes to stocking supermarket shelves. It doesn’t matter if they’re organic or conventional, nutritious or vitamin-deficient, flavorful or bland, if they don’t meet the criteria established by the government and by the supermarkets themselves, they won’t—can’t—be sold. This obviously has caused for many years a lot of food wasting but on the positive side, now that we are more conscious about the real situation it gives us the opportunity to find new ways to improve problems such as hunger.
One of the main missions of the POP fresh team is to re-educate people about the consumption of fruits and vegetables, from a householder to the purchase manager of a retail shop.
As time goes by and people have access to more information we can see an evolution of the mentalities. Indeed, more and more consumers feel concerned by food wasting, they want a healthier lifestyle and are more interested in discovering new flavours. This evolution gives some hope for the producers in the reduction of wasting and for the consumer a fairer and more affordable product (because yes! «Ugly fruits» are cheaper). So as a conclusion, our world is changing regarding the fair trade and the fruit and vegetable consumption. Globalization encourages producers to invest in products that are less harmful to our health and to pay more attention to the agricultural practices in general. As a conclusion; we need to educate ourselves and work as a team between consumers and producers to eradicate or at least minimize the food waste.
Now you know, ugly fruits are healthy and can also be astronauts!
By Yulia Arellano
1*Rochelle Bilow, Are the Beauty Standards for Fruits & Vegetables Unfair? Yahoo Beauty• August 18, 2014