Did you know up to 25% of all Australian produce doesn’t even leave the farm? Newly launched start-up Good & Fugly decided to give those imperfect – or fugly – fruits and veggies a chance.
The cosmetic standards of supermarkets mean an astounding amount of great food never reaches our plates. In fact, 30% of all the world’s farmland is used to produce wasted food. The saddening stats don’t stop there either.
According to the Good & Fugly team:
◦ In Australia alone, we throw away 3.1 million tonnes of food. That’s 17,000 jumbo jets (747s);
◦ Around the world, that number grows to 1.3 billion tonnes. That’s a mountain 3 km across and almost 2.5 km high;
◦ Since 70% of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture that’s 180 trillion litres of water.
◦ 20% of greenhouse gas emissions are Methane. Wasted food in landfills contributes to the total of this powerful heat-trapping gas;
◦ The energy that goes into running farm machinery to produce all that food is wasted too.
Not surprisingly, food waste reportedly impacts the land quality and biodiversity through deforestation and the degradation of over-worked soil.
So what are some ways you can reduce food waste?
Get creative in the kitchen
A lot of food waste happens at home. Whether that’s over portioning meals that end up in the bin, or fresh produce going “off” and being tossed. As consumers, we can help reduce this waste by getting creative in the kitchen.
Turn unused veggies and fruit into delicious and nutritious juices & smoothies, or hearty soups. With the internet at our fingertips, we have access to millions of recipes that can use up leftovers so they don’t go to waste.
Support local businesses making an impact
Good & Fugly rescues wonky, quirky, and misshaped fruit and veg and delivers curated seasonal boxes fresh to consumers’ doors.
Every box is filled with fresh, seasonal produce direct from farmers and bundled with loving care. What’s in the boxes varies from week to week, but the team aims to include staples like potatoes, onions, and leafy greens in every order.
While the fruit and veg inside the boxes may be quirky in the looks department, it doesn’t impact its nutritional value, meaning consumers can eat well and fight food waste at the same time.
Lisa McLean, CEO of NSW Circular says, “Most people would not know that a quarter of fruit and veggie produce never leaves the farm simply because it is considered “ugly”. It tastes great and people want to eat it.. but this narrow view of quality food is contributing to unnecessary and significant wastage. In fact, three percent of Australia’s carbon emissions come from organic waste – so it’s fantastic to see programs like Good & Fugly unlocking delicious new produce markets, while reducing waste and carbon emissions.
We hold enormous power in the choices we make as consumers, supporting these types of businesses and initiatives will drive wider systemic change towards a circular and sustainable future where we design out waste and appreciate the true value of produce that is grown and products that are made.”
So embrace the cosmetic quirks, big, small or wonky, they will still create the most delicious meals! Learn more about Good & Fugly here.