Jamie and Jimmy are on a mission to get wonky fruit and veg back in our shopping baskets – but how can we make the most of misshapen produce?
Back in 2015 on Friday Night Feast, we saw the boys approach UK supermarket chain Asda to trial the launch of what will now be a new Beautiful on the Inside range. Since January that year, the supermarket has sold ugly produce at a 30% discount, alongside the more expensive, regular veg we’re used to. Fast-forward to present day and supermarkets stock more misshapen veg than ever – but why do we want crooked carrots and knobbly potatoes on our shelves anyway?
Well, a staggering 20 to 40% of fruit and veg produced by UK farmers ends up wasted; either left for animal feed, ploughed back into the land or sent to landfill, because supermarkets don’t want them. In an exposé of what Jamie deems the “tip of the iceberg” of wasted wonky veg, Jamie and Jimmy visited a Norfolk farm, where up to 10 tonnes of misshapen veg are rejected on a weekly basis. The reason? Because they look ugly.
Supermarkets have tried to justify the waste by saying consumers won’t buy it. For years we’ve been used to seeing fruit and veg of a standard shape, size and colour. You compare a blemish-free carrot with its crooked friend, and which are you more likely to choose? The good news is it might be the latter. Sold at a discounted price, the idea of buying fruit and veg that taste just as good as their better-looking peers doesn’t seem like such a bad offer. And what’s more, there’s absolutely no difference in taste.
It’s time that we change our mindset when it comes to the fruit and veg we buy. Let’s start hero-ing wonky yet beautiful produce in veg-packed recipes like warming soups, comforting stews, burgers, cottage pies, and traybakes – whatever shape it is!