Leonie Bolton

About Leonie Bolton

Leonie is an artist and social worker who spends time looking at how society impacts the individual. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and one-year-old son, enjoying life with their chickens, four free-range lawn-mowing guinea pigs and a mad duck named Dotty.

Smoke Signal: “Inglorious” produce still tastes damn good

The next time you pick up an apple with a blemish or bruise, rather than consider it “inglorious”, Leone Bolton dares you to take a risk – and take a bite…

 

Let me tell you about “Inglorious“-ness.

If you have ever been to an inner-city farmers’ market you would have noticed most of the fruit and vegetables are the fugliest things you have ever seen. Yet, people will pay top dollar for that organic, local, ethical, sustainable, with-a-side-of-soil produce.

Meanwhile, back at our iconic supermarkets…shiny, flavourless, enhanced, aesthetically-pleasing fruit and vegetables are lining the shelves. The prettiest produce must taste the best.

The call for perfection in our shops is not only dictating to consumers what to buy, but is merely a response to what consumers will and will not purchase. It is a little-known fact that if there is a perfectly-shaped watermelon with zero blemishes, and one that has an obvious blemish from where it was growing on the ground, the consumer will generally leave the blemished fruit in favour for the perfect specimen. Despite the taste and quality of the fruit inside being exactly the same, what we see is a powerful marketing tool.

Do you think this would reduce waste? All of the fruit and vegetables being displayed are perfect. Being one of a growing group of dumpster divers in Australia, we now experience perfection being thrown into the bins at an alarming rate. When you think of all of the regional farmers whose produce has been rejected on the basis of looks and this “perfect” produce that still gets chucked out due to product turnover, you are now looking at wastage at a shamefully high rate.

What is it all for?

Intermarche, a French supermarket chain, has developed a line of soups and purees, called Inglorious, that presents their rejected fugly produce in a way that can be visually digested. They have offered an opportunity to be transparent about their product while promoting less wastage.

All in all, I applaud them; this is a concept that may never spoil.

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