29 Dec '11, 8am

Who's to blame for supermarket rejection of 'ugly' fruit and vegetables?

Who's to blame for supermarket rejection of 'ugly' fruit and vegetables?

Huge amounts of perfectly edible, nutritious fresh produce is wasted for not meeting cosmetic standards. Professor Davey Jones of Bangor University has been conducting studies on farms in East Anglia and has been shocked by just how much food waste is still edible. 'I’ve walked through fields after harvest and 90 per cent of the wasted crop is still worthwhile. Supermarkets have pushed the prices so low for vegetables sometimes it’s not economically viable for farmers to even harvest the good stuff and entire fields get ploughed in - it’s heart breaking.' Much of this waste occurs due to produce not meeting the ‘technical specifications’. These ‘specs’, as they are referred to within the industry, stipulate the size, shape and skin finish of produce retailers will purchase and at what price. The grading system, set by EU and DEFRA guidelines, is based on aesthetics and bar...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1174157/wh...

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