Author Topic: Inglorious fruits and vegetables - stopping food waste  (Read 694 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Inglorious fruits and vegetables - stopping food waste
« on: July 23, 2014, 12:05:14 AM »
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  • One supermarket in France bought all the malformed fruits/veggies that normally get thrown away, and found that with a 30% discount they flew off the shelves!

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    Offline ggreg

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    Inglorious fruits and vegetables - stopping food waste
    « Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 04:04:21 AM »
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  • French people have always bought misshaped vegetables.

    I've been travelling to France for YEARS since I live very close to the Channel Tunnel and I often visit markets where many French people still buy groceries and fresh fruit and veg.  Their produce is often mishapen.  They haven't been sold the idea that shape is important.  They buy stuff for taste and pay a premium for that.  Their citrus fruits there are universally better than the ones in the UK.

    Even in the supermarkets there are odd shapes and sizes.  In the UK we have not had those for 20-25 years.  People have come to expect uniformity.  Forget deformed, here you cannot even buy stuff that is slightly warped.

    That said, there are bargains in UK supermarkets, unlike France which does not discount or have loss leaders.

    If you are prepared to eat what is cheap and live near 3 or 4 large supermarkets (I tend to go to them when passing) you can often get very cheap produce.  I buy bananas for 20cents per pound all the time because they are just beginning to get black on the outside.  The inside is still good for another 5-7 days.  I usually buy around 40 bananas and we just feast on them at two bananas per day each until they are gone.

    So there is a silver lining to the population around you being very fussy.  Food even appraoching its best before date is sold at pennies on the dollar.  For big families that is a big saving.  When I shop in France I will spend 30% more money EASILY because very few things are discounted.


    Offline ggreg

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    Inglorious fruits and vegetables - stopping food waste
    « Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 04:17:08 AM »
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  • I'm not sure why this would be wasted anyway.  If you are a food processor turning this into frozen diced foods, soups etc, why would you not buy this cheaper produce?  You are throwing it into a big grinder/dicer/slicer, anyway so your customer never gets to see it was misshapen.

    Personally I reckon this is PR fluff that Intermarche have deliberately cooked up spun to get some positive PR in the blogsphere.  That food is not wasted.  It is used in other channels, albeit that it does not make premium prices.

    Even if fed to pigs it is not 'wasted'.

    Besides there is just not THAT much of it.  1.2 tonnes per store is nothing.  That is 13 cubic feet of food.

    Offline ggreg

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    Inglorious fruits and vegetables - stopping food waste
    « Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 09:07:12 AM »
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  • One of my neighbours owns a food supplies company supplying restaurants around Europe and told me the following by email.

    Some food is "wasted" in this way because of EU regulations on sizes, shapes and colours of fruit and veg. In the foodservice industry however many chefs will request these products to keep their profits high.  I have been asked for "donkey carrots" before. These are carrots that are missshapen and otherwise used to feed donkeys.

    Also I think Tesco tried something similar to this French supermarket about 18 months ago, sorry I can't remember what they called their range.  So it looks to me like a PR stunt.

    Kevin

     

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