Say Yes to Imperfect Freshness!

Anytime you visit the supermarket, you see the perfectly organized fruits and vegetables on the shelves. The colors alone make you want to pack everything into a bag. The closer you get the more details you see of a polished, perfect looking Apple, or a pumpkin that looks like it came out of a Halloween movie. That is the selling point! We subconsciously believe that this is what we should buy. Have the imperfect ones been benched out of the game?

The actual term used at supermarkets is “Cosmetic Standard”. A study conducted by UK food and environment charity stated that the rejected produce typically amounts to as much as 16% of the food grown in the UK. It’s enough to feed the entire population of a large city 5 portions of fruit or vegetable for a year.

If you have ever been to a farmers market, you would have noticed how each farmer presents their produce with such pride. No matter how different the size of the zucchini or the form of the tomatoes. The most important factor is the taste and freshness. After all, they are all planted in the same soil and provided the same water, so why would we judge them based on their exterior.

Since farmbox receives its produce directly from farms and suppliers on a daily basis, we noticed a few consistencies in what product has a higher tendency to be misshapen or Imperfect. We wanted to shed some light on the subject and let you know why some products arrive that way.

Tomato

This juicy fruit.. or vegetable; you can classify it however you like, comes in a big variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and even taste. Some are tangy and soft, others are crunchy and sweet.

The deformation usually occurs with Beef Tomato and Heirloom Tomato. They grow to a large size, causing it to stop having a “normal” round shape, but rather ridged. Cracking is also a common concern in tomatoes. It happens when growing conditions are not perfect; excessive moisture after a dry period, high temperature, a large difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, and inadequate nutrition, causing rough brown cracks in tomatoes.

Avocado

Did you know that the average amount of Avocados consumed per person nowadays is 7x the amount consumed 30 years ago? It’s the star of the decade!

Who doesn’t love Avo on toast? But finding that perfectly ripe and green avocado can be the mission of a lifetime. Which is why you don’t have to. An Avocado always looks perfect on the outside but tends to sometimes have brown spots on the inside. This is because Avocados have high amounts of oil & over-ripening. As the fruit matures avocados can also develop brown spots in them.

To avoid further browning upon storing an open Avocado; which happens due to oxidation, it is recommended to squeeze some lemon on it or brush it with olive oil, then cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator. But worry not! In all cases of browning, It is still safe to eat.

Apple

An imperfect apple a day will also keep the doctor away!

Apples are quite sensitive when it comes to transportation. Suppliers try to handle apples with as much care as possible. However, if an apple bumps any surface ever so slightly, it might cause some bruising.

Similar to Avocado, apples go through oxidation. This means when they are bruised or cut and come in contact with air, they start to brown. It is perfectly fine to eat apples with brown spots.

We also see browning skin on the apple, and this is caused purely due to environmental conditions before the apple is picked off the tree. Don’t peel it off, some say it has a nice nutty flavor.

Capsicum

In its natural state, capsicum is a curvy vegetable. Even so, sometimes it surprises us with its weird shapes. Luckily, that does not change the flavor whatsoever.

The cause of deformed capsicum is generally genetic or due to environmental conditions at the time of pollination (or a combo of both). The simplest reason would be a branch that came in its way while it was growing.

In all cases, if the taste is great, then what does it matter if it is slightly deformed.

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