Thursday, October 11, 2012

Help stop discrimination against ugly vegetables - "Feeding the 5000" in Paris!

"I may not be beautiful but I'm delicious!" Would you buy this malformed eggplant?

In spite of our best intentions, something happens when we're in the produce section of the grocery store. Like Snow White in a daze, we automatically reach towards the perfect apple, the one with the flawless red skin and sublime curves. Consequently, Western countries throw out nearly half of their food not because it's inedible -- but because it's not pleasing to our eyes.

To call attention to this scandalous waste, the French television channel Canal+ and Englishman Tristram Stuart of "Feeding the 5000" invite you to a free lunch made out of wonky carrots, misshapen potatoes and other fresh surplus vegetables on Saturday, October 13. In addition to a giant vegetable curry, there will also be cooking lessons, music and freshly pressed apple juice.

If you're in Paris and would like to volunteer, please visit "Feeding the 5000's" Facebook page for additional information. Otherwise, please help by spreading the word about this very worthwhile event.

Fill bellies not bins. Stop discrimination against ugly vegetables!

Feeding the 5000
October 13 at 1:00 pm
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville
Paris

In this TED video, Tristram Stuart sounds the warning bell on global food waste, calling for us to change the systems whereby large quantities of produce and other foods end up in trash heaps.

20 comments:

  1. What a great event, thanks for posting about this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad that you found it to be of interest. I wish that we would have been able to go to the event on Saturday but we had visitors.

      Delete
  2. Embarrassingly, I don't think I would buy that eggplant. Shame on me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha me neither. Are we horrible people, Gwan?

      Delete
    2. Noooo, you're not horrible people! Just people who have been conditioned to eat attractive veggies. But go ahead, take a walk on the wild side by biting into an ugly apple or a hideous carrot and see how liberating it feels!

      Delete
  3. Yes, I too like perfect produce but I agree that the misshapen should be used too. I don't like yellowing greens though or greens with lots of holes. I buy from two organic farmers at my Saturday market and their produce is not always the prettiest. I wish they had better looking stuff, so I buy what I can. This past week they were selling some ugly melons, I just couldn't take the plunge. I did buy a watermelon and it just wasn't ripe and red enough for me when I got it home. Disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason, I'm even more disappointed when I buy something at the market that doesn't taste good. Maybe it's because of the sense of anticipation that builds up while shopping at the market and planning what you're going to do with your produce when you get home. By the way, I bought another squash like the one that I got while you were here and plan to roast it and make risotto with it.

      Delete
  4. My friend has a commercial apple orchard. No one really wants to know what those apples look like before pressed into juice. Ever since my visit, I can't help but wonder what percentage of the juice in my glass is from the apples and what percentage from the worms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmm, worm juice! My grandfather had a small apple orchard and always used to make juice from the windfallen apples. Maybe that's why we used to make mulled apple cider with cinnamon and cloves - to cover up the worm taste! ;)

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing this MK. When buying tomatoes, people should know the uglier ones taste better. If you are buying perfectly round tomatoes, they probably taste like nothing. I'm glad there are groups spreading more awareness about the waste of food. And now I have a craving for apple juice (from your post, not from Sylvia's comment!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about the tomatoes! I've also noticed that the ugly heirloom ones at the market taste way better than the perfect ones at the grocery store. Kale, however, always seems to look good!

      Delete
  6. This is so interesting. It never even occurred to me that I discriminate against fugly produce...but I do! I did it 10 minutes ago at Franprix and chose the prettier tomato over the busted up one. Grace a kbh, I now know that I have severely made the wrong choice and will be making a bland sauce tonight.

    Jokes aside, thanks so much for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm positive that your sauce is always delicious, pretty tomatoes or not! Now the challenge is to see if you can welcome homely fruits and veggies into your kitchen. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. If we have guests, there's still no way that I want to offer them ugly food.

      Delete
  7. Fabulous idea. I love all the crazy fruit and veg that turn up in our garden. We had some wonderful snowman apples that sadly Rors ate before I could take a photo, and some very interesting carrots this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were in my mind, Steph, when I heard about this event because I can't imagine you throwing fruit and veggies out just because they're not perfect. I'll bet that Rors enjoyed eating those snowman shaped apples even more than the regular ones!

      Delete
  8. Great post Mary Kay!

    Food is food after all. We have all become far too choosy with the way that fresh produce appears or should appear, and seem to be making decisions based on how the food stylists in magazines tell us how food should look. I probably would have bought the eggplant as it looks a bit like Jimmy Durante.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh, Jimmy Durante! He had such an interesting face and a distinctive voice. His version of "Frosty the Snowman" is always the first one that comes to mind!

      When I went to a chocolate event at Shakespeare and Company the other night, I was pleased to hear the young chocolatier say that there is a movement for chocolate to look more natural, not so perfect, so perhaps it will trickle down to other foods.

      Delete
  9. Great post, and a very thought-provoking issue.

    What are those skinny purple things called? They're actually very pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The skinny purple things are Japanese eggplants. I've never used them myself but have eaten them at restaurants, etc. They taste the same as regular eggplants.

      Delete
  10. Folic acid is perhaps the best known essential nutrient for pregnant women. Folic acid has been proven effective at preventing a variety of birth defects, including Spina Bifida.
    click here

    ReplyDelete