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Correct size, accurate shape, and matching shades – produce today aren’t able to cater to these attributes today. Here's why imperfect food gets tossed.

Food and Its Beauty – The Downside of Your Food Being Good Looking

Correct size, accurate shape and matching shades – the vegetables and fruits today aren’t able to cater to these attributed today. And the ones that can’t, get invariably doomed. Whether, it’s a grower, importer, retailer, packer, wholesaler, or distributor – any person who markets the fresh vegetables and fruits, should cater to the labelling and quality standards.

The poignant question

The situation brings us to one question – what is happening to the fruits and vegetables that aren’t catering to the cosmetic quality of the requirements? The minimization of the food meant for the human consumption is an increasing concern globally, owing to the negative environmental, economic, business and social implications. The food loss occurs before an apple reaches the final customer. However, on the other hand, food waste takes place the moment an apple gets rejected by the customers when they think it’s not suitable for consumption. And this is giving rise to the Misfits Market

According to a study by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2011, the relevant vegetables and fruits loss that takes place early in a food supply chain dominates in every industrialized region. It’s mostly because of post-harvest fruit and the vegetable grading resulting from the quality standards. 

Changing the idea and conception regarding beauty

Today, the time has come when we need to look at our perceptions concerning beauty and change it. Can the apple that looks imperfect, taste good? Might it not also possess the required nutritional value? The change needs to happen from the farm to the fork.

Converting ugly food to an attractive one brings down the cosmetic food waste

In this world, where about a third of almost all globally produced food gets either discarded or lost, one can find a role model in France due to the UN’s FAO estimates. This country has been acting as a leader to fight the food loss by focusing on a policy set in addition to governmental action. It has come up with a quality response to the food loss, which includes the management of misshapen, ugly vegetables and fruits. 

We have all come across the ridiculous looking potato, the failed lemon and the grotesque apple. In an initiative to sell and save what can otherwise get banned, before it reaches the store, some companies have come up with the concept of not so attractive vegetables and fruits. An immense global campaign was followed in order to celebrate the beauty and charm of imperfect vegetables and fruits and it got broadcasted across various social media platforms. 

The odd-shaped, disfigured and scarred vegetables and fruits that didn’t cater to the standards of the color and shape, can not get sold to the customers for almost 30% less in comparison to the ones that appear normal. It’s a total win-win campaign for such companies, growers and the customers. Here the customers get to have access to same quality of fruits for a cheaper price. That will help a person who struggles to afford the basic proportion of vegetables and fruits required for a stable and balanced nutrition. Also, the growers get the cash for the unattractive looking apples that would have otherwise been thrown way. Such companies are maximizing their business by selling a whole new-line of fruits and vegetables. 

According to research, these companies get better social media mentions, which increases brand visibility. Such an initiative adds to the brand image of such companies. It also adds to its online reputation management.

Imperfection is back in vogue

Imperfection, is a global retail trend that got commenced a couple of years back. But can one say can the thought towards ugly is changing? There are several whole food chains that sells imperfect fruits and have recorded an increase in the end of its shelf-life in various supermarkets. There are the ugly face challenges as well. The market cannibalism and the customer preferences are essential to note, as the cheap priced apple will cannibalize sales of the ordinary apple. 

It’s essential to look at how America is wasting food. Today, about 20 billion vegetables and fruits gets discarded on the farms. There are companies that work with the people who have a clear understanding of the food lifecycle, that includes the retailers, distributors and the farmers. It will help to gather and divert food prior to it getting lost. 

Companies believe that the imperfect fruits and vegetables need to be judged by the way it tastes, instead of the flawless skin. Such organizations are working their way to change the conversation that exists in the food system, concerning the value of the imperfect looking apple down to its last bite. And for once the interests of the consumer, retailer and the grower as well as the planet has got aligned. 

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