Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Sunday Aug 17 | BY |
| Comments (17)


Go the supermarket and you’ll find perfectly round apples, oval or oblong eggplants, flawless oranges, and zucchinis free of the weird deformations that those from your garden get.

Anyone who’s been on a farm knows that not every fruit or vegetable comes out this perfect. In nature, they are often deformed, disproportioned, or just plain ugly.

What happens to those less than perfect fruits and vegetables? They are simply thrown away! In fact, more than 25% of all produce coming out of the ground is thrown away — simply wasted — because it’s not in the pretty shape that the industry demands. That represents hundreds of millions of tons of perfectly edible food thrown away every year.

One French supermarket decided to change this by selling “ugly” or “inglorious” fruits and vegetables, with a 30% discount to encourage customers to try out those delicious but unwanted veggies.

Watch the incredible video they put out on this new effort… which will hopefully lead to a worldwide tend!

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


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  1. Rick T. says:

    Love this idea, We need to do this in the US and stop wasting food.

  2. Lorien says:

    what a great idea, I’d buy them over the pretty ones to save the cash every time….

  3. T.Carroll says:

    Wonderful, positive initiative. Thank you! I detest and distrust fruits & vegetables that are waxed, shiny, & prettified, yet often tasteless. I am happy to buy “inglorious” fruits & vegetables, but usually they are not even offered for sale. So, I shall ask my local grocers to try to do the same as well as our local farmers’ markets. Canada and Canadians are very wasteful in this area, but, with this example, perhaps we can bring about a change, starting in our local communities and fanning out across the nation. That would be truly “glorious”!

  4. Neil says:

    Yes, i worked and helped a certfied organic fruit and veg business in Australia for 3 years. I was astounded at how many were thrown away. I offered a few suggestions to the boss, and he couldn’t be bothered as he is/was too busy. The good news is, i ended up taking all those ‘less perfect’ items home with me to eat for us, as well as passing them onto friends, neighbours( American spelling neighbors), and even sold some as well.
    It proved to me one thing – he was making plenty of money if he could throw so much away.

  5. cynthia says:

    This is the best idea i have heard of in a long time. Love the French! The US wastes so much food this way.
    I will start to spread the word. Thank you!

  6. Monika says:

    As far as I know, the Association “Feeding America” and all it’s nation-wide sister association are doing exactly this; directly from the farmers. Those “inglorious fruit and vegetables will then be passed on to those charitable organizations and kitchens that provide fresh and cooked food to the poor. Check out the nearest Soup-kitchen or church in your area, you may be surprised. If they don’t know anything about it, please let them know.
    There is plenty of inglorious food to go around for all of us. Keep spreading the word.

  7. sondra says:

    Fantastic! This is interesting, because I always have the tendency to choose the fruits and veggies that have an unusual shape. Especially apples, they seem to taste sweeter, better.

  8. A brilliant idea, though I was under the impression that it was EU regulations which prevented these foods from being sold in the first place. I’m sure there is some EU law which actually dictates the size and shape each type of fruit has to be. Utter madness, I know, but that’s what our modern over-regulated world has come to.
    Good luck anyway to the French crowd who are doing this. Let sanity prevail!

  9. pat says:

    Yes I think a really good idea there is nothing wrong with those vegetables we grow our own in Port Lincoln South Australia we have plenty of deformed we don’t throw out its double the fruit or veg plus there starving people all over it is a crying shame so much has to go to waste its not perfect people should lower there standard

  10. Carol Bowen says:

    Great idea. We should do this in the US

  11. Marc B says:

    Awesome idea!!! I would buy with no problem at all especially when you juice or cut it all up. Who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes good. We need to do this in the U.S.

  12. S Marie says:

    I’m smiling — inside and out. ‘Common Sense’ actually has a spot in this crazy world! Where do we sign up to encourage our US stores to do the same?

  13. Deborah says:

    Supermarkets may be waking up…. slowly… but still waking up.

  14. Vendors at s some of the farmers markets here (Los Angeles) do this “unofficially”, Alongside the “restaurant-pretty” fruits & veggies will be a bin or two with the rest :the oddly shaped, the very ripe “eat-it-now”, the “sunburned”….at reduced prices. Show up during the last hour or so that the market is open, and even these bargains get cheaper. And the worse the weather (hot & high winds now in summer, cold & windy in winter), the better the bargains, so vendors can avoid packing up & hauling off the unsold produce.

  15. Satori says:

    We throw them away in the US too? I always thought at least a big part of it is going to be used for processed food especially pet food. Eating ugly veggies as is is much better than eating them in a processed food form though!

  16. Tina says:

    The farmers markets I go to here in australia often sell “inglorious veggies” for a cheaper price. My children love taking carrots to school which look like people with 2 legs. It is a real novelty.

  17. MarcyB says:

    The french have a great idea and I think another great idea would be to donate the weird fruits & vegetables to local food banks, they are definitely not picky about what the food looks like.

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