Asda RIGHT to sell wonky fruit ’n veg
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.