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Where operations meet ethics.

29 April 2015

Ugly, Dirty and Bad? No: Good, nutritious and sustainable!

A Canadian proposal to reduce food waste reaches France

They’re ugly, twisted and often small: they are the fruits and vegetables that never make it to the supermarket. Foods that are not visually appealing tends to just disappear when it comes to sales, although in terms of taste or nutritional properties they are equal to the other products that we find in the displays of the large retailers.
Throughout the entire process starting with production and ending with distribution to the final consumer, any foods that are less than beautiful are discarded. The result is that 30% of good food in the world is simply wasted, just because of its appearance. This arbitrary selection negates the input of labour, land, water, machinery, energy and basically everything that has gone turning the produce of the earth into food products.
But is food fit for the bin just because it is ugly? The reply to this question in France and Canada has started to be “No”. Food that does not look as good as its more beautiful “cousins” is just as edible and tasty. This is why a supermarket chain in the French-speaking world has reported positive results with the introduction of corners where imperfect products are offered for sale at a discount.
Instead of encouraging the evils of waste in food production, by overcoming rampant “food racism” the industry could help sustain an intelligent market.
The simple idea of ​​putting on the market “Fruits et Légumes Moches” (French for “Ugly fruit and veg”) could help the fight against world hunger as part of a process of raising consumer awareness, drastically reducing waste and energy consumption and improving the climate.
Eliminating global food waste in the world would be enough to feed the planet, especially when the rate of population growth is factored in. Think about that the next time you turn your nose up at the sight of a wonky carrot or a lumpy apple.


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