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Good food doesn’t have to be good looking

A chasm has been forced open between us and our food and its width and breadth can be determined by adding up the square tonnage of ugly vegetables thrown away every year.

Odd-shaped, blemished, or with uncommon little extra limbs, but no less nutrition-laden – these veg are ripped from the roots that give them life then tossed directly into the rubbish after being judged too weird for sale.

The misapprehension that good food must be good looking is a nasty symptom of the era of industrial agriculture and it is also bad for farmers, bad for the price of fresh food, and bad for the environment.

Imperfect Produce – with their subscription ugly veg home delivery service – are at the vanguard of the movement against vegetable waste. Chefs like Sophia Roe and Openaire’s Josiah Citrin are too – they use direct relationships with growers to buy what tastes good, regardless of how it looks.

When we hosted a recent Imperfect Produce Farmer’s Market and brunch curated by Sophia and Josiah, we got behind the change – and it was delicious.

Photography by Laura Austin.