I like to eat a healthy, balanced, nutrient-rich diet, because I want to be a healthy and balanced person.
However, it came to my attention a number of years ago just how much food we produce is wasted. We live in a society that prides itself on perfection, and in our struggle to meet perfection we have become an unhealthy, unhappy, and unfulfilled society. It doesn’t take a huge leap to see that the same is happening to our food. We have become so obsessed with creating “perfect” food that we spray our crops with harmful chemicals, we process our food so much that it is barely recognisable at the end. The effect that this warped perception of food is having on our health is insane; but the effect it is having on the planet are even insanER! When we throw away scraps of food, we are not only throwing away that tiny piece, but we are throwing away the water, nutrients, energy, and hard work that went into producing it; the water, paper, plastic and more that went into packaging it; and the oil and countless other products that went into getting it to market….and because the majority of it is ending up on landfills (not naturally returning to the ecosystem through composting) we are ending up with tonnes of waste that rots away, contributing to the horrible waste and pollution crisis we have on our hands already.
So, I retract my earlier statement. You are not what you eat. Beautiful People Eat Ugly.
What does eating ugly mean?
-You have the choice to purchase and eat food that is “imperfect”, such as fruit with bruises, broccoli that has started to go a little yellow, and dairy products that are almost at the end of their life cycle. By doing so, you are preventing these products being wasted, and you are contributing a ripple in the ocean that will see customers, stores, producers, farmers, and others start to work within a sustainable food chain.
-Eating ugly does not mean eating food that is harmful to your health. I EAT UGLY is not a suggestion that you should eat products that are “off”, but rather, that where possible you can choose products that are still safely consumable, but that have minor defects which may prevent other customers purchasing them, and therefore ultimately resulting in the product being wasted.
What has this got to do with omBlog?
My vision for omBlog was based on promoting a healthy, happier world for all. My vision of a healthy, happy world, is for ALL aspects of the world to be healthy and happy, not just humans (or a select group of humans that can afford it). The world produces enough food to feed all the people on it, as well as all other lifeforms. However, the greed and wastefulness of many Western consumers means that food is not being adequately distributed. In addition to this, such waste (remember- it’s not only the food but what goes INTO the food that also counts) is contributing to a global environment that is hostile not only to future human communities, but animals, plants, and other life. If we are to live in a healthy, happy world, it needs to be one in which waste is kept to an absolute bare minimum, to give everyone a fair chance at survival.
What is omBlog going to do to help?
I have already made it my personal mission to “save” Ugly Food at the supermarkets, and I can often be seen eating bashed up bananas, mushy mangos, and bruised berries. I will continue to advocate this, as you will see in my photos, but in addition, I will be sharing recipes that enable you to use up ingredients near (or even just past!) their best before dates. Plus, with your help I will be lobbying supermarkets to offer “unsellable” products to the community; and on a related note, will also be pushing the government to eliminate GST on fresh foods.
What can I do?
-Buy and eat “Ugly” Food. Bruises can be eaten or scooped out of fresh fruit and veggies, and rotten parts can be discarded while the rest of the product is usually safe to eat. Also, you can buy products with damaged packaging, such as dented cans, so long as the damage doesn’t compromise the food’s safety to eat.
-Create a food plan to ensure you only buy what you need and don’t waste anything
-Share the I EAT UGLY stamp on your social media and emails to let other people know
-Ask supermarkets if you can take their unsellable products off their hands
-Lobby the government to remove GST of fresh foods, and to put a cap on supermarket profits on these products, to make healthy food affordable for everyone
UPDATE: Similar ideas have been taking off around the globe, so I would strongly encourage you to get behind them! Check out this video for Fruits & Legumes Moches which has taken off in Europe! http://www.mobiledia.com/news/199679.html