If you have ever grown your own fruits and vegetables, you know that, just like us, they come in all shapes and sizes! With over 1/3 of produce being wasted, the plight of non-calibrated, imperfect fruits and vegetables is very real. Don’t be fooled by appearances, the wonky fruits and vegetables being thrown away taste as good as their beautiful cousins. Why would we discard perfectly good food while some people are going hungry? It’s completely obscene.
Back in 2014, Intermarché (France’s third largest supermarket chain) launched a fantastic campaign against food waste. “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” (or “Les Fruits & Légumes Moches” in French) aimed to raise consumer awareness about food waste by selling fresh “ugly” fruits and vegetables as well as soups or juices made from imperfect produce.
Here in the UK, chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall declared a very public war on waste last year, that led supermarkets to slowly start stocking produce that would otherwise be discarded.
But aside from buying bags and boxes of misshapen food, how can we make sure less gets thrown away? Three innovative British brands have decided to address the issue of reducing waste of wonky and ugly fruits and vegetables, by transforming them into some delicious products.
Through a range of tasty relishes and sauces, Rubies in the Rubble has been rescuing fruits and vegetables since 2011. The company is a social venture, aiming to employ people struggling to get back into work. Its founder, Jenny Dawson, is passionate about reducing food waste. From humble beginnings with a stall in Borough Market, Rubies in the Rubble’s products are now also sold at Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Cook and many independent shops.
Snact makes healthy snacks from surplus produce. I had a chance to try their tasty fruit jerky made from dried blended fruit. Absolutely delicious, they are the perfect snack, bursting with natural flavours, that is also gluten-free and less than 65kcal per bag. Snact started by collecting surplus fruits at London’s wholesale markets, making snacks in a kitchen in Hackney, and selling them at markets and events across London. Thanks to a successful Crowdfunder campaign, Snact is now ready to take the country by storm.
Also, as you may hope from a true waste champion, Snact’s bags are 100% home compostable.
Sold at Ocado, Snact’s Fruit Jerky is available in three flavours (Apple & Raspberry – Apple & Mango – Apple, Blueberry & Banana).
Spare Fruit transforms wonky Kentish apples (and soon pears) into some healthy and delicious fruit crisps. Air dried, the crisps are low in calories and 100% fruit, with absolutely nothing else added.
Spare Fruits started gathering surplus fruit from their local market and allotments in St Albans to make snack products for sale in local cafés . To date they have saved over 9 tonnes of apples and pears. Perfect on their own, you can also enjoy these crisps with cereals, salads or cheese. You can buy Spare Fruit in selected shops in London as well as online.