I must admit, I despise fresh produce that looks ‘perfect’; to me, that means there is something wrong with it. Nature simply does not produce apples that look (and often taste) like novelty wax candles. You can keep your perfectly shaped carrots too, and what’s with that ‘ready washed’ salad nonsense? No, I want good food, not an aesthetic experience.

In fact, I prefer ‘ugly food’, and so does Conservative MP for Thanet South Laura Sandys, who is on a mission to promote misshapen fruit and vegetables; her aim being to get them back on the supermarket shelves.

Now regular readers will be aware that I am not a great fan of politicians. Years ago I used to interview them and I never met one I would want to buy a used car from. However, credit where it’s due, Laura Sandys does campaign on some pretty important stuff: against loan sharks that prey on the most vulnerable, for instance, as well as being a defender of the Green Belt and calling for greater resources for the care for the elderly. So I’m more than willing to get behind her in her quest to tackle our obsession with ‘perfect’ fruit and vegetables.

There is no doubt that the honourable member is genuinely concerned with the nation’s absurd addiction to ‘beautiful’ fresh produce, as she has set up a company specifically to sell ‘ugly’ food.

In doing so she has been discussing her plans to set up a brand called ‘Ugly’ with farmers and has been finding out why certain fruit and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets. Some of the reasons are laughable. An apple, for example, may not have enough red on one side, or too much green on the other! Why should an apple that has not enough red or green not be acceptable when it tastes exactly the same?

There’s no doubt that Laura Sandys is right. We really need a culture change when it comes to our food.

rod millington
chief editor

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