Fruit and vegetables that have been discarded, simply because they don’t look perfect, account for a serious share of the global food waste problem. Most of the time, misshaped produce is already separated out during the harvest and doesn’t even make it to the market, only because it does not meet our aesthetic expectations. Too bent, too straight, too knobbly, too smooth – there are numerous reasons why so many perfectly edible apples, carrots and the like end up in the bin. However, these less attractive products taste just as delicious and, once you’ve chopped them up and added them to your delicious meal, it doesn’t even matter what they’ve looked like before anyway.
Who cares about lumps, bumps and irregular shapes? It’s the flavour that counts, isn’t it?
You’d love to open a sack of potatoes and find a heart-shaped one, wouldn’t you? And yet, many food items don’t even make it to the supermarket simply for such cosmetic reasons. The ones that do, like the crooked cucumber or the dented apple, often remain on the shelf. This doesn’t affect the flavour, though, and if an odd appearance doesn’t matter to you, you can buy imperfect fruit and vegetables at weekly markets, farm shops or even directly from the producer. Besides, more and more shops are opening in many towns and cities, selling ‘unpackaged’ food or rescued ‘imperfect’ produce, fresh from the farmers, often at much lower prices. This not only saves you money but also cuts down on packaging waste. If you prefer convenience, you can also have fruit and vegetable boxes delivered directly to your home.
Groceries are valuable, even if they wouldn’t necessarily win a beauty contest. These tips will help you see that cosmetic imperfections aren’t important at all and that, in the end, it’s the flavour that matters most.
Salad & Sauces
Small flaws? Chop them up, that’s all!
Fruit and vegetables are rejected because of flaws that are often purely cosmetic, usually caused by the weather, among other things. When chopped up and added to a salad or a pasta sauce, however, these natural blemishes go completely unnoticed.
Juices & Smoothies
Ugly fruit juice? Never heard of it!
Optical flaws have no influence on flavour and quality. Dented apples and old, piled up carrots are still good to make a delicious and healthy smoothie or for squeezing juice from them. Add a dash of lemon, honey and ginger, and you have a healthy treat.
Eat the greens
It doesn’t have to be bright green…
Even if the leaves might look damaged or wilted, the vegetable itself is still of perfect quality. Did you know: you can press great juices not only from fruit but also from the green leaves of kohlrabi, radishes, beetroot or carrots.
Jam & Stewed Fruit
Don’t throw away bruised fruit, cook it!
Plums, apricots and peaches are often bruised in transit. But, as long as the skin’s still intact, you can easily boil them down into jams, chutneys or compotes, meaning they’ll last even longer.
Soups & Cakes
Quirky shapes make for fantastic bakes
Whether lumpy, bumpy, bent or slightly damaged – irregularly shaped vegetables are perfect for soups, sauces and salads. Overripe bananas or carrots give your smoothies a deliciously sweet, creamy texture or star in banana bread and healthy carrot cake.
One-third of all food produced worldwide goes to waste. To be more graphic: an area the size of China grows food that is never eaten. There are various reasons for this, wrong harvest times, climatic conditions, poor storage space, or improper transport, are just a few. Plus, apples or carrots for example have to meet certain aesthetic standards in terms of shape, color, or size. After roots, tubers and oleaginous fruit, the fruit and vegetables category account for the majority of food that doesn't make it to the stores after harvest.
Ultimately it is the nutritional values such as vitamins and minerals that count, and, of course, the flavour. Below you can see how perfect and delicious a dish can be, even if it’s prepared with malformed fruit and vegetables.
Chopping and peeling crooked vegetables and damaged fruit can be a bit of a chore. With our kitchen helpers, you can transform your bulky or bashed and bruised ingredients into delicious dishes in no time at all.
Braun is synonymous with durable products and sustainable design. We also want to do our bit to help combat food waste. The small steps taken along the way might not always be perfect – just like the fruit and veg – but each brings us closer to a solution.