In the field of food, one of the main problems is the amount of food that is wasted daily in a large part of the planet. Some 100 million tons per year only in the European Union. In the case of vegetables and fruits , one of the causes of not reaching the shelves of supermarkets is to have an imperfect appearance. We feel we need to reject an apple or a carrot because it doesn’t have the right shape we expect .
Ugly on the outside, good on the inside
Some fruits and vegetables have strange shapes, bulges … that do not indicate at all that they are in poor condition, or sometimes they are smaller than what we are used to. They can also present scabs that, far from being bad, can be an indication that they are free of pesticides, because those small scabs or scars occur when a fruit has made an effort to protect itself from a pest.
Sometimes, simply, they do not shine. And this, in the case of oranges or apples , is not an indicator of poor condition. In fact, the brightness is usually achieved by adding a wax with preservative additives. Also insects can cause small holes in the skin of some fruits and vegetables without this coming to present any risk, and probably are due to the absence of synthetic insecticides.
We like to eat with our eyes
We eat by sight, it’s clear. But choosing food only because of its appearance and good looks has gotten out of hand and has become an aesthetic requirement without any foundation. In fact, the FAO suggests that we must change our perception about fruits and vegetables of imperfect appearance, because the important thing is inside, and every time a tomato is thrown away for aesthetic reasons the resources used for its production are lost: the seeds , the earth, the water, the energy …
Every day potatoes are wasted that are smaller than expected or that are somewhat damaged, even for the production of packaged chips. Carrots are one of those that suffer the most from the demands of the market and it is possible to reject more than 30% of the production in the points of sale.
Do they have all the same properties?
The associations of nutritionists are clear and forceful in this regard: their properties are intact, as well as their flavor and are 100% edible. In addition, you can probably buy them up to 30% cheaper and, to top it off, help curb the waste of food for aesthetic, not nutritional. So, as you see, you have everything in your favor to fill your shopping basket with fruit and vegetables that do not have a “perfect” finish.
Do not confuse ugly fruit with bad fruit
Since the biggest fear we have when eating ugly fruit is that the cause of its appearance is that it is in poor condition, we leave some guidelines that will help you distinguish the good from the no:
- Its texture should not be excessively soft, or have developed mold or lint
- A very strong acid smell is another symptom that the fruit is not in good condition
- When it turns dark it is because it contains bacteria.