It was a triumphant day for ugly fruit and vegetables earlier this month when the EU lifted a two-decade old ban that discriminated against visually imperfect fresh produce. EU regulations governing the size, curvature, sheen, shape and lumpiness of 36 types of fruit and vegetables have been abolished, allowing the sale of aesthetically flawed products on the market.
The law was lifted in order to lower the price of fresh food and cut through red tape for growers and importers. ‘Farmers and growers work extremely hard to produce quality food but nature does not always comply with a perfectly rounded sprout and poker-straight carrot’, The National Farmers’ Union in Britain said in a statement. ‘It is good to hear that people will be given the chance to buy odd-shaped fruit and vegetables and see they taste just as good. It will help eliminate waste, which has to be good news for consumers and British growers.’
Some rules, however, will still apply, controlling the bend of bananas and the classification system for ten products of which misshapen examples must be labeled as for use in cooking rather than for eating fresh. This type of produce is estimated to sell for 40 percent less than its aesthetically superior counterparts.
The move is predicted to help all growers, whether conventional or organic. ‘This will be a fantastic step, especially for organic growers,’ said Patrick Golden, director of the Soil Association. ‘We are about inner quality, not outer appearance – that is our hallmark. Fresh, local and seasonal is better than a bland but cosmetically perfect piece of fruit or veg.’
Source: The Times Online