Events caterer Seasoned has vowed to make an impact on the issue of food waste by supporting the use of ‘wonky’ veg in its kitchens.
Getting behind the use of wonky or ‘ugly’ vegetables has risen in popularity since celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty investigated the issue on their Channel 4 show Friday Night Feast last year. The episode saw the chefs approach supermarket chain Asda to trial the launch of a new wonky veg box range called ‘Beautiful on the Inside’, after discovering that they had previously sold ugly produce at a 30% discount.
Seasoned recently sent some of their events team to visit fruit and vegetable suppliers, to ask about their surplus produce and the reality of the weight it holds over the British farming industry.
According to the farmers, a staggering 20-40% of fruit and veg produced by UK farmers ends up wasted; either left for animal feed, ploughed back into the land or sent to landfill – as it is not deemed attractive enough to be sold in supermarkets.
The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, equating to around 1.3bn tonnes per year. Colin Sayers, managing partner for Seasoned, said: “We’re focussing our attention on how we can help towards reducing this staggering figure of wasted produce.
“We recently carried out an experiment where our team tasted these dishes featuring both the wonky and the aesthetically pleasing vegetables, and the answer was clear – they both tasted just as great as the other! It was then that our pledge became clear; instead of allowing our wonky veg to be sent to landfill before it reaches us, going forward we will be choosing wonky.”