For the first time in over 20 years, the EU has relaxed its rules regarding misshapen fruit and vegetables. In the next few weeks, nobbly carrots, bendy bananas and curly cucumbers will be returning to a supermarket near you! In years gone by the EU made a rule (at the food industry’s request) that only the best looking fruit and vegetables would appear on our supermarket shelves and dinner tables. Any produce not up to standard would be discarded by suppliers and thrown away. At a time when the government is encouraging consumers to try and cut down on the amount of food being wasted and trying to reduce landfill, it certainly makes sense to sell misshapen fruit and vegetables rather than throwing them away. Farmers will now be able to use more of their crop. Many people forget that apart from being wasteful, throwing away food damages the environment too. The majority of waste food goes into landfill, producing methane, a greenhouse gas much more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Also at a time when food prices are soaring in Britain, selling wonky shaped fruit and veg gives consumers a choice and a chance to save some money when doing the weekly shop. They can either buy perfectly shaped fruit and vegetables at a slightly higher price or choose their misshapen alternatives at a fraction of the cost. The shape of the fruit and vegetables certainly does nothing to affect their flavour or the amount of vitamins and minerals they contain. They still count towards one of your five a day. I’m sure they will prove very popular in these recession-hit times, when shoppers are looking for a cheap and satisfying way to feed their families healthily.