U.K. Grocers Allowing 'Wonky' Produce

Weather issues lead to weird-looking vegetables

Wonky fruits and suggestive vegetables are finally being allowed back on British grocery shelves after a few months of unpredictable weather have made it unfeasible for grocers to banish ugly produce from their stores, and environmentalists are thrilled about it.

According to The Telegraph, EU rules on the selling of “misshapen” fruits and vegetables were relaxed back in 2009, but a lot of grocery stores still rejected the more weird-looking stuff because customers like their produce pretty.

But after the driest March in six decades and the wettest June ever recorded, stores are facing a shortage of produce, and what they can get has been marked up a bit.

“The unpredictable weather this season has left growers with bumper crops of ugly-looking fruit and vegetables with reported increases in blemishes and scarring, as well as shortages due to later crops,” said Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury’s.

According to The Guardian, an estimated 20 to 40 percent of U.K. fruit and vegetables are rejected by stores for cosmetic reasons. UPI says the wrong-looking carrots taste like normal carrots and are just as nutritious; they just have more character.

Allowing the perfectly good (if funny-looking) produce on the shelves has pleased environment advocates who decried the old system as ridiculously wasteful.

“It's about time supermarkets woke up to the urgent need to reduce food waste by accepting perfectly good but irregular shaped fruit and vegetables,” said Vicki Hird of Friends of the Earth. “But they must not return to the bad old days when huge amounts of food was rejected because it didn't meet their cosmetic standards.”