About a month ago Asda launched their £3.50 Wonky Veg Box.
A box of veg that wouldn't normally have made it past the farm-shed - not to mention on the shop shelf in a lovely, branded box!
At Rubies in the Rubble we are over the moon about this initiative. Its another step forward in the big fight to reduce un-necessary food waste and its gone down a storm so far having had an incredible response on social media with over 35,000 people liking, sharing or commenting on Facebook. Therefore, off the back of this response, Asda are rolling it out to 250 stores today and a further 550 stores from March.
The boxes are 30% cheaper than standard lines and contain a 5kg mixture of seasonal produce- enough to feed a family of 4 for a week.
However, there's still more to be done as a large percentage of a farmer's crop is still being rejected. Ian Harrison, Asda's technical produce director said, by lowering their specifications on size, shape and colour for produce, they can make a big impact in preventing crop being wasted due to aesthetics. This is a really positive step forward and other supermarkets are also following suit: Morrisons are selling wonky carrots and potatoes, Sainsburys have relaxed their appearance guidelines on fresh fruit and Tesco's have been trialling misshapen fruit and veg offers across stores.
So, supermarkets are starting to stock the 'wonky ones'.
The big question is; will we buy it?
And as supermarkets are lead by consumers demand, if we don't buy them our veg will be delisted and go back into the discarded pile again.
But we'd like to think we are people of our word - and with the support shown on social media - its looking promising. Let's not just like it, but buy it!
So to make the debut of this produce a success, there are 2 challenges we need to conquer:
1. Start with the produce in mind.
Most of the time we start with the recipe and then collect the ingredients to fit around what we need. But its time to start thinking about what we have in our fridge, what's best in season or what is there an abundance and how can we can incorporate it into a recipe - or how we make it the best it can be!
2. Have a little more love!
It may be a little more nobbly, curvy or challenged in size! And it may need a minute more of your time, but its food and it has character! It's natural and therefore unique. Food should be enjoyed and needs to be loved!
Let's stand behind our word and help UK farmers get their whole crop on the shelves.
Get ready to have fun with nature - developing recipes around what's available / what you have in your box!
We'd love to hear how you go - please send us your pics, recipes, challenges, wonky veg, seasonal delights - wed love to hear from you on instagram @rubiesintherubble or twitter @rubiesinrubble