Asda RIGHT to sell wonky fruit ’n veg

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - Paul Nut­tall FOL­LOW Paul on Twit­ter @paulnut­tal­lukip

WELL done to Asda for put­ting mis­shaped fruit and veg­eta­bles back on our shelves.

Egged on by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the su­per­mar­ket chain has gone back on a pol­icy not to sell wonky fruit and veg.

And I hope oth­ers fol­low their lead.

It’s crazy, be­cause in other coun­tries you buy oddly shaped toma­toes and pep­pers and they taste per­fectly fine – but for some rea­son we think our own pub­lic just won’t buy them.

At a time when peo­ple are go­ing hun­gry in this coun­try and nearly a mil­lion peo­ple are forced to use food banks, it seems per­verse that we throw per­fectly good food away be­cause it’s not the right shape.

It got me think­ing about some of the crazy food-re­lated EU reg­u­la­tions down the years – and some of them are just cork­ers.

I have to start with curvy cu­cum­bers. In 1988, the EU de­cided that if a cu­cum­ber bends more than 0.4 inches, then it could not be cat­e­gorised as a “class one” cu­cum­ber and could only be sold as a sec­ond-rate cu­cum­ber.

In 1995, the same EU crack­pots de­cided that ba­nanas with un­sightly cur­va­ture had to also be banned from be­ing sold as “class one”.

The same prin­ci­ple was also ap­plied to crooked car­rots and knob­bly pota­toes.

In all, 36 dif­fer­ent fruits and veg­eta­bles were forced to com­ply with the EU’s non­sen­si­cal rules – and those that didn’t were sim­ply thrown on the scrapheap.


Up to 2009, when this brain­less ban was lifted, it’s es­ti­mated that twenty to forty per cent of these prod­ucts were thrown away be­cause they didn’t meet the strict EU guide­lines.

But the re­moval of the ban didn’t re­sult in our shops be­ing flooded with funny-shaped fruit and veg, be­cause su­per­mar­ket chains thought fussy Brits wouldn’t like the look of such prod­ucts and would refuse to buy.

Now Asda has bucked that trend, and good luck to them.

But the med­dling hasn’t ended. In 2010, the EU said that food items al­ways had to be priced by weight rather than num­ber, thus mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to sell eggs by half-a-dozen alone.

So although we can still buy six eggs, the price has to be based on their weight and not the num­ber of eggs. Who knows why.

The Brus­sels brain­boxes then de­cided they had to make it clear that turnip and swede are two dif­fer­ent things – but if swede is con­tained in a Cor­nish pasty, it can still be called turnip. Are you con­fused? I am. In 2011, the EU pre­vented man­u­fac­tur­ers of bot­tled wa­ter claim­ing that it helps pre­vent de­hy­dra­tion be­cause, ac­cord­ing to the EU, there is no ev­i­dence for this. Work that one out.

Then EU man­darins told us that fil­ter cof­fee ma­chines must now switch off af­ter five min­utes of per­co­lat­ing to fight the spec­tre of man-made global warm­ing.

What’s fright­en­ing is that this baloney is dreamed up by some of Europe’s most pow­er­ful peo­ple.

But fear not, the peo­ple of this coun­try are fi­nally wak­ing up, and hope­fully we’ll get out of this ba­nana skin of an or­gan­i­sa­tion sooner rather than later.

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