In Praise of Ugly Bananas (3/16/13)

After studying a lot about food waste issues, I came to realize that the simple phrase ‘looks can be deceiving’ isn’t only applicable to humans, but to food and fruit as well. I mean, it is no secret that people shop with their eyes. Take me, for example. Two months ago if you had asked me my opinion on “imperfect” fruit, I would have said that bruises and blemishes on fruit don’t actually matter and we should only judge fruits and vegetables by their nutritional worth. But, after making that statement I would have walked into a supermarket to buy the brightest, most flawless looking fruit that caught my eye. Aren’t we all like that, eh?

A week ago I took a short trip to a grocery store. I found these bananas sitting at the bottom of the shelf, neglected. The skin of these bananas was flawed, with black dots showing that they were soon going to be overripe.

Bananas on Stand
Neglected bananas on a shelf

Food waste results from the misuse of resources. How we choose our food, as well as whether we consume it once it comes home with us, makes a huge difference. I have tasted ‘ugly’ fruit as well as ‘attractive’ fruit, and I know that there is no difference in taste and nutritional value. I could see how these bananas would end up in a landfill. That night, I decided to buy the bananas to eat them and also to make smoothies. As expected, they tasted just wonderful and looked perfect on the inside.

I think this is a perfect example of scary-looking fruit that may impede us from tasting their wonderful goodness. We must remember that yes, looks can be deceiving and not all ugly fruit tastes awful, and at the same time, not all pretty-looking fruit are tasty. Please take ugly fruit into consideration next time you go out shopping. Remember, food waste is something that affects us all, and everybody can take part in battling this issue together. (Win Preechawutthidech)


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