Damaged Groceries, Are You Buying Them?

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 Are You Buying Damaged Groceries?

damaged groceries

Why would we buy damaged groceries when perfect food is all around us? I recently watched a show on the Food Network called The Big Waste. Four of the networks’ popular chefs were challenged to make a gourmet meal made entirely from trash and feed it to a room full of people including, but not limited to, politicians, well known chefs, sports figures and actors.

Trash? Yes trash or at least that’s what it was considered to be by the grocers and the restaurants. What was wrong with the food?  A can was dented or a tomato had a spot on it so restaurants and markets threw them out because we, the consumer, want the ‘pretty’ food.

Produce Farms

The chefs visited growers and saw the endless hills of produce that had become their compost piles. If any produce is not perfect, it doesn’t even leave the farm because we won’t buy it and they are right. We pick the prettiest produce, the perfect meat and the shiniest fish. If there is a dented can on the shelf, do you reach for it or do you reach for the perfect can?

The Chefs Couldn’t Believe the “Damaged Groceries” They Saw

Back in the city they visited markets and restaurants and were then led to the trash, where they found perfectly good food, but something may have gotten bruised in shipping. They saw trash can after trash can, trash bag after trash bag, full of food.

They went to butchers and fish markets as well and found the same thing happening. One fish monger was preparing to throw a lot of fish away because a restaurant ordered too much then returned it. I found that disturbing on a few levels.

Whole raw chickens were being thrown away because they had a broken wing, carrots were tossed because they had a bump on them, peas may have had lighter green spots on them, eggs were thrown away if they were not the right size and the list goes on and on. Again very disturbing.

I am Such a Hypocrite

While I sat there watching the show and becoming mortified at the all of this food being wasted, while so many people are struggling and the price of groceries are continually increasing, it hit me that I contribute to this. I too want the perfect food or at least I did until that moment. I am thrilled to eat less than perfect produce from my own garden, but I want perfection from the store? What a hypocrite I am!

What Can You do?

I for one am trying to stop contributing to this damaged groceries waste now and I reach for the dented can or blotchy produce. I just cook it right away now. I also ask the produce department if they recently pulled produce off the shelves they haven’t thrown away yet. I would have no problem buying a case of blemished tomatoes for pasta sauce or a crate of bruised apples for apple sauce.

A lot of food for thought ~ Valerie

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  1. Wow, so when I see Kroger produce employees going through and picking out tomatoes, bananas, potatoes, etc they are picking out what they are going to through away???

    Perhaps as several thousand wizkids we should find a way instead to get all these places to donate to their local food banks rather than the garbage cans. Apparently instead of a tax write-off it could be a tax deduction? (Not real up on that kind of stuff)

    I’m amazed at this story!

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