Love Food Friday
Chef Christopher Giegel
There is beauty in an “ugly duckling”…
We often have this idea in our heads that all produce needs to look perfect—uniform, shiny, without a single blemish. The reality is that produce comes in all shapes and sizes, just like people and cattle. Just because a tomato isn’t perfectly round or a pear has a minor blemish doesn’t mean that it’s any less healthful or tasty.
In America we waste tons, literally tons, of produce a year because it doesn’t meet the consumer’s expectation of perfection. In commercial food service, chefs can actually choose to buy cases of produce labeled “packer” that aren’t perfectly shaped, but are completely healthy and delicious. We often can save some money doing this, and it helps to prevent food waste.
I choose to do this from time to time for things that the shape of the whole vegetable or fruit is unimportant. Anything that’s going to be chopped up small or added to soup where the shape of the whole doesn’t matter. This is an opportunity to affect change and reduce food waste on a larger scale than simply not wasting what you purchase.
Next time you’re at the grocery store consider the “ugly duckling” produce and that it might actually be something quite beautiful!