Would you buy an ugly apple? Loblaws is betting on it. The grocery store chain announced yesterday that they will start selling imperfect produce - for up to 30 per cent less than their pretty counterparts.
Photo courtesy FlickrCC/jitze1942Starting with apples and potatoes, Loblaws is branding the less-appealing produce as ‘Naturally Imperfect’, and will start selling it in Ontario and Quebec stores. The supermarket chain hopes this initiative will help cut down on food waste, which is a step in the right direction. Canadians waste $31 billion worth of food, according to a report released last year by Value Chain Management International. This amount comes from a combination of food wasted on farms, in manufacturing, in stores and by consumers at home. "We often focus too much on the look of produce rather than the taste," said Ian Gordon, senior vice president, Loblaw Brands in a media release. "Once you peel or cut an apple you can't tell it once had a blemish or was misshapen.” The ideas of selling ugly veggies isn’t anything new. Farmer’s markets have been selling oddly shaped squash, carrots and potatoes for years. Some people hit up the farmer’s market specifically for the less pretty, more natural looking produce. One of the delights of gardening is finding an oddly shaped carrot or bumpy tomato. Imperfect veggies can be beautiful, delicious and just as nutritious. European grocery stores already know this. French supermarket chain, Intermarche, launched a campaign to introduce the public to ‘inglorious fruits and vegetables.’ And if you like to dine out, you are probably already eating ugly veggies. Chef Derek Dammann of Maison Publique in Montreal told the Globe and Mail last year that he prefers twisted peppers that are half green, half red, overgrown Swiss chard’ because it is more economical for restaurants. If you are on a budget and planning on mashing those potatoes anyways, you now have the option of picking up a cheaper and uglier bag. What do you think? Would you buy ugly produce? Try our delicious vegetable recipes.