As a child I use to wonder why grocery store produce was always so much uglier looking than those my mother would pick out at farmers markets. I would suspiciously eye them over thinking my mother was simply too cheap to buy the “top quality” fruits and vegetables that sat perfectly shaped and placed in stands as they were regularly sprinkled with fresh water. Ironic isn’t it… Mom I apologize for my ignorance.
Now in a world where local, organic, and green take center stage amongst the environmentally conscious consumer, it seems our European counterparts have decided that going green can be ugly but profitable.
As of July 2009, the European Commission abolished more than two dozen laws that have stipulated the look of Europe’s fruit and veg – including Brussels sprouts – for the past 20 years. A majority of EU member states, including Britain and Ireland, have voted to reform rules like EC Commission Regulation No 2257/94, which stipulate that only the most perfect-looking produce adorns supermarket shelves and caused international ridicule by stating that all bananas must be “free of abnormal curvature” and at least 14 cm in length…Retailers in Europe say at least one-fifth of fruit and vegetables is was being wasted as a result of the regulations and expect prices to come down by up to 40 per cent. -via
So there you have it, the European Commission votes for the return to nature –by force by cutting waste, lowering prices, and reminding us that naturally, in the real world, not all produce has to be picture perfect in order for it to be considered worthy of supermarket stands.