I’m a huge fan of ugly fruit. I far prefer blemished, knobbly, and odd shaped fruit over the uniform, hard and travel-wise fruit found in supermarkets.
I popped into a local greengrocer recently to pick up some local Udder Farm milk and there on a sign outside the store were the words:
Only $1.95 a kg”.
I’m certain that sign would have caused me to pull off the road even if I hadn’t already been stopping. I naively visioned seriously bent bananas and had this overwhelming urge to rescue the deformed, yet perfectly edible, fruit. Of course, the bananas were perfectly normal and the sign was, presumably, merely a tongue-in-cheek poke at the absurdity of our preference for beautiful fruit.
The rows and rows of perfectly uniform blemish-free fruit seen in Supermarkets come at a cost. Produce that doesn’t pass the supermarkets ruthless shape, size, and appearance tests often go to waste. In Australia, an estimated 20 to 40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected even before they reach the shops – mostly because they do not match the supermarket's excessively strict cosmetic standards. For example, according to a recent video by the ABC's Hungry Beast, which summarised food waste in Australia, 100,000 tonnes of bananas are thrown out each year because they aren't pretty enough or had fallen and touched the ground. Similarly, 54% of Australian mangoes get thrown away.
Tristram Stuart's book 'Waste: uncovering the global food scandal', devotes a whole chapter to “Squandered Harvests”. Tristram discusses the situation in Britain, where the statistics on waste due to Supermarket standards are similar. "Forests have been burnt, hedges flattened, wetlands drained and ponds filled in – sometimes only to produce crops that end up being ploughed back into the earth.” What a waste!
This is just one of the reasons I dislike supermarkets (or stupid markets as Kate appropriately calls them). Daddy Eco and I dislike supermarkets enough to challenge ourselves to skip supermarkets entirely for all of 2012. I'll introduce our challenge shortly, but in summary we're challenging ourselves to skip supermarkets, shopping malls (I hate them even more than supermarkets), and super chains for a whole year.
But back to those bent bananas.... Bananas are in season at the moment and are super cheap, so I've been topping up our freezer stash. Bananas are easy to freeze. I peel them and place them in an air-tight container. I use them in baking, smoothies, and Little Eco loves frozen sliced bananas. I also make a super easy healthy chocolate and bannana ice cream that can be made in minutes.
Easy chocolate and banana ice cream
Into a blender or food processor throw in 4 frozen bananas, 2 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt, 2 teaspoons of cocoa, and 2 teaspoons of honey.
Blend. Serve. Enjoy.