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Do your groceries only stock perfect produce?

25 days ago

Over the past thirty years or so, grocery stores here have shifted to only stocking the perfect produce: the fruits and vegetables that are all a fairly uniform size, no misshapen pieces etc. This has resulted in a lot of food waste at the farm level as they have literally tonnes of produce that can't be sold because it is too large or too small or not "pretty" enough to satisfy the commercial buyers purchasing for their grocery chains. In addition, it is hard to impossible to buy the cheap cuts of meat like hogget, mutton, boiling hens, offal etc.

This irks me on so many levels. My blood boils at seeing reports of farmers burying tonnes of "unwanted" produce- it's soul destroying for the farmers and it obviously drives up the price of the produce in the stores. As a buyer, I don't care what my fruit and vegetables look like because it's all going to be cut up anyway. And sometime I want a small whatever because it suits the recipe better. I also would prefer the cheaper cuts of meat at times because they better suit the recipe I want to make.

Some grocery stores carry a tiny range of the odd shaped vegetables and fruit at a lower price, but not very much. My brother in law and his girlfriend came home from a holiday in the country with a giant bag of avocados because they had taken a stray dog back to the farm he came from, and the farmer told them to help themselves to a giant 6' cubed crate full which he couldn't sell because they were too big or small and he literally couldn't give them away, even to local restaurants <eye roll>

I guess younger people want "easy" food- steaks, chops etc, that can be hurled into a frying pan after work and cooked in less than 30 minutes, and may not have the skill set required to make tasty use of the cheaper, slow cook meats.

But in today's tight economy, I'd like to see us going back to having lower priced (because it's not being thrown out) food available so we can choose what we want, instead of only having what the buyers think is attractive for a display.

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