Not perfect but tasty
If you buy Harvest Hub smoothie bananas you know that looks aren’t everything as marked skins do not affect the flavour of these nanas and we’re all about flavour. Or Harvest Hub lebanese cucumbers – on occasion they might be a little curly but every
delivery is tasted to ensure they’re sweet.
Sun, rain, wind and frost can mark fruit and vegetables without effecting their nutritional value. Melons can have a patch on them where they rest on the ground while growing or some grazing and still be excellent eating. Unfortunately good fruit and veg in Australia is often dumped, ploughed back into the soil, juiced or made into jam for a fraction of the cost it took to grow because many consumers and sellers expect fruit and veg to look perfect. They’ve been marketed this way so that Industrialisation of production can happen.
Different size – different shape
If fruit and veg can be produced the same size, perfect in look – never mind the flavour – then it’s cheaper to produce and easier to store for long periods, pack and deliver – ala large supermarket requirements. They actually have sizing boards to fit the fruit through and if not the right size – fail …. throw it away. We don’t ask our growers to do this sizing process and they pick what is grown. we indicate roughly what we would like but don’t force them to throw away their produce if they are wiggly or misshaped. We are more interested that they taste great.
Purchasing the perfect looking produce has a cost. Environmental and waste – the rejected fruit and veg that did not measure up to supermarket buying standards. These standards are based on the produce withstanding extended storage, long distance haulage, forced ripening, fitting to required size. It has little to do with flavour or nutrition.
The cost is also measured in limited varieties offered for sale or skip the local offer and import it – it’s all year round then and not seasonal. Heirloom tomatoes, for instance, do not hold up well to increased handling and long term storage.
Have you ever picked up a piece of fruit with a slight skin mark and put it back in favour of a spotess one? Thinking perhaps, it won’t be as tasty as the unmarked one?
Watery potatoes that look good but are picked too early to develop the vitamins and minerals of their mature counterparts and tasteless tomatoes are two compelling reasons why looks over flavour don’t work. These industrialised growing practices are not limit what Australians eat.
How much is too much?
Did you know that Australians are dumping AUD$1.1 billion (US$1.12 billion) worth of fruit and vegetables in landfill each year? That’s between 20-40% of Australian fruit and vegetable are rejected before appearing in your fruit bowl.
Why choose imperfect
Irregular shaped, marked or slightly discoloured fruit and veg are not sold by large retailers despite being flavoursome, and nutrient rich. Why? Demand is for aesthetically-pleasing produce – if shops put pretty fruit out the demand for it increases.
Fruit and vegetable skin, like our skin, protects what’s on the inside. A mark or two won’t affect eating quality and will mean less waste from grower to plate. Like that book you can’t judge by its cover, or the saying, ‘Beauty comes from within’. Not perfect but tasty. Perhaps the goodness judgement is: flavour and texture over appearance.