Introducing The Odd Bunch: Why you should love imperfect fruit and vegetables

Introducing The Odd Bunch: Why you should love imperfect fruit and vegetables

Are you a picky eater, not necessarily in the food you like to eat, but more in the way you like your food to look?

Do you only pick the best produce from the supermarket shelves, rejecting anything that may be misshapen or slightly bruised?

Like people, we often judge our fruit and vegetables on how they look. We expect our carrots to be straight, our apples to be shiny and tomatoes to be round.

Misshapen carrots

So what happens when fruit or vegetables don’t look like we expect them to? They might be smaller or larger than average, the wrong shape, colour or imperfect in other ways.

They get rejected – by the farmer, the supermarket or the shopper.

Despite a few outer imperfections, ‘ugly’ produce is just as nutritionally good as any other produce. This healthy and nutritious food is going to waste, purely because of how it looks.

This is just plain wrong.

Overseas supermarkets in the US and Europe have been selling ugly fruit and vegetables at a discounted price, but nothing has existed in New Zealand, until now.

The Odd Bunch Ad

The Odd Bunch is a new initiative by Countdown Supermarkets to sell imperfect fruit and vegetables in New Zealand at affordable prices.

By selling produce with small imperfections or cosmetic damage at a reduced rate, Countdown will help cut food waste, enable growers to supply more of their stock to the supermarket and make healthy food affordable to customers.

The first produce to join The Odd Bunch will be hail-damaged stone fruit and carrots, with more fruit and vegetables appearing on shelves in the coming months.

“Shoppers have long favoured and demanded perfect-looking produce, but we hope to challenge that thinking with The Odd Bunch,” said Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, Chris Fisher.

“It makes sense on so many levels, for shoppers, growers and the environment, as well as for our business.”

“There are any number of reasons why produce might look a little unusual, from growing at an odd angle to being affected by the weather. It still tastes great and is just as nutritious as regular produce. With The Odd Bunch, Countdown can help our suppliers sell produce they would have typically discarded and we think many shoppers will forgive a little ugliness to help combat food waste.”

While it’s great that Countdown has introduced The Odd Bunch, there are many other ways you can love ugly fruit and vegetables. Every time you shop, be conscious about what produce you choose. Just because things may look a little worse for wear, doesn’t mean they can’t be delicious. Soft tomatoes are great for turning into a sauce, floury apples can be used in cooking, and stone fruit can have any bruised bits cut out.

Make it your mission to give a little bit of love to some less-than-perfect produce. After all, we’re all a little bit flawed.

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