The good, the bad and the ugly

Inglorious fruit

Visit any supermarket produce department and you’ll see beautifully arranged bins with towering mounds of perfectly formed, glossy fruits and vegetables. There is nary a blemish or mark on the produce. But as any gardener knows, not all cucumbers are straight, sometimes carrots look funny, and apples are frequently lopsided. A great many fruits and vegetables don’t conform to the supermarket ideals of beauty. So why don’t we see them in the stores? Supermarket produce managers would likely say it’s because people won’t buy the imperfect foods. But one grocer is seeking to change that. Intermarché, France’s third-largest grocery chain, has launched a campaign to get people to buy less than perfect produce.

Featuring clever ads for “inglorious” fruits and vegetables, the stores hope to entice customers to buy “the ridiculous potato,” the “disfigured eggplant,” and the “failed lemon” by offering a 30% discount. The goal is to reduce food waste – almost all imperfect produce is just tossed by the growers. You may have seen this video making the rounds on social media with calls for other supermarkets to emulate the campaign, which has been quite successful. Have any of the stores in your area tried to do this or something similar?

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  • sir_ken_g  on  July 24, 2014

    Some of the best apricots I ever had in my life were in Paris. They were not pretty but they tasted awesome.

  • HunyBadger  on  July 27, 2014

    This is a great idea! I like the idea that we, possibly, are getting back to "real"…real fruits, real vegetables…maybe even we can get back to "real" magazine covers without photoshopping too. Now that, would be something to celebrate.

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