Ministers and Diplomats Feast on Ugly Fruits and Vegetables

Their goal is to convince supermarkets to lower their beauty standards concerning food

By on February 20th, 2013 22:01 GMT

On February 19, several ministers and diplomats taking part in the United Nations Environment Programme annual summit got the chance to indulge in a four-course dinner prepared with fruits and vegetables rejected by various supermarkets on account of their being ugly.

As explained by the people who organized this meal, the idea of using so-called ugly fruits and vegetables to cook for these ministers and diplomats had everything to do with promoting sustainability and speaking against food waste.

Thus, it often happens that tonnes of perfectly good food are not made available to customers in the United Kingdom and in Europe simply because they fail to meet the beauty standards set up by those in charge of running supermarket chains.

Needless to say, spokespersons for several of the supermarkets targeted by this green-oriented campaign maintain that their customers have grown accustomed to their fruits' and vegetables' looking in a certain manner.

In others words, their selling slightly less visually pleasing foods would most likely translate into their beginning to lose money.

Business Green informs us that, because of this practice of only selling good-looking fruits and vegetables, the farmers who actually grow these crops lose impressive amounts of money on a yearly basis.

Thus, it is believed that, within 12 months' time, roughly 222 million tonnes of perfectly good food is wasted on a global scale.

As explained by Tristram Stuart, the founder of green-oriented group named Feeding the 5,000, “We found one grower supplying a UK supermarket who is forced to waste up to 40 tonnes of vegetables every week, which is 40 per cent of what he grows.”

“The waste of perfectly edible 'ugly' vegetables is endemic in our food production systems and symbolises our negligence,” Tristram Stuart went on to add.

Interestingly enough, it was only recently that the United Nations Environment Programme also made a case about how people living in rich countries should cut their meat consumption in half, seeing how this would yield significant environmental benefits.

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