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Rejected Food

Issue #03

Even with vegetables, particular standards must be fulfilled to make the food appealing enough to buy. But what happens to the rejected food? and where does this social impulse come from that something can only taste if it looks like the same? 

If you go to the grocery store, you notice that every vegetable looks similar. The peppers are almost all the same size and the cucumbers are long and straight. 🥒 So, you shouldn’t be surprised if small children, when they are completely pricked, do not want to eat the crooked cucumber that was bought at the farmer’s market. Like all beauty standards, there are also standards in the way we treat our vegetables. Every year tons of fruit and vegetables are thrown away because they do not meet the cosmetic specifications. Some of the less attractive vegetables can also be used for other purposes, such as canning, biogas plants, distilleries, or for juice production. 

But why is this so?  

The taste of the vegetables does not change because of their appearance. This question has come up more and more frequently in recent years.  

An EU-guideline refers to ten vegetable varieties and their beauty. These must meet class 1 or 2 to be able to be sold. This includes apples and tomatoes. 🍏🍅 For all the others, the grocery stores can decide for itself whether it wants to sell the crooked vegetables. In recent years, it has become more common to sell vegetables at a discount as b products are sold. This was well received by many customers. Nevertheless, this concept is still too little represented and is in the hands of the buyer to change something. Even if everyone would say that it does not encourage food waste, we still too often find ourselves buying vegetables in the supermarket rather than looking for an alternative.  

Of course, it is always a question of the marketing of the grocery stores. However, every single one of us has the chance to make a difference.  

So, what can you do about it? 

In the last few years, many stores have opened up that sell less beautiful vegetables, but just as delicious. Why don’t you check out the stores in your area? Another option would be to visit the local market, where they are taking more care not to sort out vegetables or sell them for a better price.💰 Maybe you also own your own garden? Then growing your own vegetables would also be an option. 

Small steps can already have the effect that soon the not so ideal but equally delicious vegetables will be found in the grocery store. 

#StayGreen 🌎🌿

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