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Have you ever seen an overfilled bin of “misfit produce” at your local grocery store? If this has happened to you, have you ever wondered why it was there in the first place?
As it turns out, misfit produce like bruised and misshapen fruits and vegetables are not exactly up to supermarket standards, but that doesn’t mean they are unsafe or that you can’t make use of them.
On the contrary, supermarkets often go in efforts to help supply food for those less fortunate by donating these kinds of anomalies. But that’s not the point. The thing is even you can buy them without any worries.
What’s more? Delivery services also take on weird produce. Called “ugly” by some and “cosmetically challenged” by others, these fruits and vegetables come with the improper label of imperfect in grocery stores when they could be so perfect for eating.
Don’t feel surprised at this! Ugly produce can have a few different categories, though.
Some fruit or vegetables aren’t quite up to supermarket standards based on size, weight, length, or width. Take, for example, too small avocados or too big eggplants; some may also have signs of damage and bruise.
Or, you can imagine the twisted carrots or weirdly shaped root vegetables. In some cases, fruits and veggies that don’t seem to be less than others don’t appear in the market for many reasons, like inferior flavour or texture. Or their shape doesn’t go with industrial food processing techniques.
Anyway, now the matter is – why you should even bother about them. Well, there are enough things to consider.
Why should you eat ugly produce?
Food waste control
It may seem hard to believe, but those fruits and vegetables that look like they’re lacking in nutrients are just as nutritious (and cheap!) as their beautiful counterparts.
Buying imperfect fruit and veggies helps save the world because it reduces food waste – a value that has both economic and social impact. Not only will buying ugly produce help farmers make more money, but it also helps save energy, water, and land needed for farming.
Once these fruits and vegetables come into the category of ‘ugly,’ they get thrown out – ultimately getting wasted. Eating “wonky” fruit and veg is something everyone needs to start doing today – the sooner, the better because no one wants to contribute to this global problem of food waste.
To be precise, it’s crucial to reduce as much food waste as possible, and purchasing foods that may otherwise belong to “unwanted” or “undesirable” categories helps do just that.
By purchasing foods that seem less than perfect, you’re telling grocers what your interests are in terms of the qualities of food you want them to provide. If you’re going to buy these, you can even use online deliveries. Someone like Misfits Market or others can help you with this.
Nutrition and cost-effectiveness
You are probably aware that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, this is about the nutrition part. Recent research has discovered that apples with scabs have more phenylpropanoids and antioxidants.
The same study also found scabbed apples to contain 10 to 20 additional phenolic compounds, which can help fight against fungi, enhance heart health and arteries, reduce cancer risks, assist in muscle-building, and support mental resilience. Buying ugly produce can also help you save money on your grocery bills.
The grocery store selling ugly food offers discounts to their customers by purchasing the product that goes overlooked elsewhere. You can get a box of delicious, healthy red apples for lower prices.
The packages sold will vary depending on the supply of ugly produce available for a limited time only. So you can compare your prices at different stores, especially if you plan to shop for it online.
A chance to get hands-on pesticide-free items
These days, many ugly fruits on the shelves may have gone through a similar cultivation fashion to those with flawless appearances but don’t get misled by a nasty exterior. It can still have toxic pesticides.
But if you can find organic ugly fruits and veggies, it will be great. Low prices and superior nutrition values will be available for you to enjoy. Because ugly fruits usually don’t use pesticides, you’ll often find them rich with 20-40 percent higher antioxidants.
They don’t need to resort to synthetic chemicals.
Ultimately, it would help if you remembered not only is the rejection of ugly produce causing environmental damage, but it’s also causing economic damage.
Unsold fruits and vegetables don’t get attention because they don’t meet the standards of appearance that food buyers have. Due to this, farmers and agencies face severe losses.
Then, the discarded products end up in the landfills, which deal with the rise of methane gas as they decompose. It leads to tough global warming challenges in return. That’s why it can be the time to revisit your choice.