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Green Your Shopping Trip -- Produce

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:24am

Ugly_fruit_3821587_thumbnail_2 From the thrift store to the produce stand, our shopping tips will help you keep your green.

Tip #2: Buy Ugly Fruit

Organic farmers will tell you that variation in the size and shape of produce is natural, but this isn't the impression you'd get from the average supermarket, where the fruits and vegetables appear eerily perfect. These Stepford tomatoes are a result of strict regulations which ban aesthetically-challenged specimens. Rejected fruits are made into juice, used to feed livestock, or simply left in the field. In June, the European Union announced plans to relax aesthetic restrictions on fruit and vegetables and the British supermarket chain Waitrose began selling ugly fruit at a reduced price in 2006. While most supermarkets still favor the beautiful, farmers' markets and food co-ops offer a wider variety of shapes. If you've never seen an imperfect carrot, let your local grocer know that you're open to ugly.

Are you concerned about food waste? Join your local food gleaning organization and help harvest misshapen produce for food bank donation.

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