Human beings aren’t perfect, so why is it that we expect beans, or any vegetable for that matter, to be?
Perfection is overrated — a little bump or discolouration doesn’t render a fruit or vegetable inedible, but it is often discarded before it even reaches retail shelves in a phenomenon known as cosmetic filtering.
While ‘pretty’ foods are often picked over their uglier counterparts, most consumers don’t even know they exist due to cosmetic filtering.
‘Ugly’ fruits and vegetables are a major source of food waste. According to market and consumer data provider Statista, the total amount of food waste generated in Singapore in 2019 was about 744,000 tonnes, almost half of which were fruits and vegetables. In that same year, only 18 per cent of the food waste generated was recycled.
744,000 tonnes — that’s enough food to feed over two million people for a year.