The Rise of Ugly Fruit

GQ (Australia) - - TASTE & TRAVEL -

That’s right, time to re­ally chow down on the wrap­per – it’s good for you and the en­vi­ron­ment. The long-term goal of US com­pany Wik­i­foods is do­ing away with food pack­ag­ing and re­plac­ing it with vegetable-based ed­i­ble wraps. It has cre­ated a prod­uct called ‘per­fectly free’ – soft ed­i­ble cas­ings for dairy-free ice cream or frozen yo­ghurt that can be washed and eaten with bare hands, no cone re­quired. Wik­i­foods’ mis­sion is to al­ter the at­ti­tudes of re­tail­ers and the be­hav­iour of con­sumers. Its part­ner­ships with Whole Foods in Amer­ica are a start. Ex­pect it here soon. quan­tumde­signs. com/wik­i­foods

Not all fruit and veg lives up to the aes­thetic stan­dard im­posed upon them by dis­trib­u­tors, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t tasty. To this end, the march of ‘ugly’ fruit and veg is go­ing global with a wealth of co-op­er­a­tives launch­ing cam­paigns to get su­per­mar­kets to start sell­ing mis­shapen items. It’s a fu­ture trend that’s slowly fnd­ing a foot­ing across Europe and the US – and some­thing that’s been hap­pen­ing in Aus­tralia for a cou­ple of years with cer­tain Wool­worths and Har­ris Farm Mar­kets sell­ing off their oddities in var­i­ous metro ar­eas (es­pe­cially those har­bour­ing hip­sters). ‘Ugly’ pro­duce is, in fact, a huge mar­ket. While an es­ti­mated 25 per cent of fresh pro­duce is said to be re­jected due to cos­metic im­per­fec­tions in Aus­tralia, that num­ber swells to 40 per cent in the UK, ac­cord­ing to the Soil As­so­ci­a­tion, with much of it end­ing up as land­fll. Por­tu­gal’s Fruta Feia (ugly fruit) uses a co­op­er­a­tive model to de­liver boxes of oth­er­wise re­jected veg­eta­bles straight from farm­ers to the con­sumer. n

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