Save Money and Reduce Food Waste with Imperfect Fruit & Veg
Just how naturally beautiful are you? We’re talking about eating and living well, focusing on a diet high in fruit and vegetables – no matter how ‘ugly’ the produce may look.
We’ve become used to our fruit and vegetables looking like a picture perfect Instagram shot. But not all fruit and veg looks the same, despite what you may see in the grocery store. In fact, what we see, in perfect piles of produce, are the fruit and veg which have passed the ‘beauty test’.
This desire to only eat perfectly formed fruit and veg is costing us. Around 20 to 30 percent of fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia are deemed as ‘waste’ before it even leaves the farm due to imperfections i , adding up to $1.7 billion dollars a year ii.
The tide is turning though. Grocery stores, online food delivery companies, and even people growing their own vegetables are embracing ‘ugly’ vegetables which are just as nutritious, more economical and better for the environment iii . As a nation, we need to increase our intake of fruit and vegetables: currently only 4% of Australians eating their recommended amount of vegetables each day iv. This Christmas, why not increase our intake of fruit and veg, save money, and reduce waste by supporting those less than perfect Fruits and Vegetables.
Eloise Wellings, two-time Olympian, three-time Commonwealth Games athlete, philanthropist, Ubiquinol ambassador, and mum extraordinaire plans her meals to ensure she includes the recommended 5-6 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit v into her daily diet.
“I’ll often go with this option as I know I’m doing my part to reduce waste, am saving money and am still getting the same nutritional benefits as the more polished and prettier versions on display in grocery stores.” says Eloise.
Here are Eloise’s top tips for making the most of popular ugly fruit and vegetables options as well as energy boosting options to get fit and on track for summer:
Bananas with Brown Spots
Bananas with brown spots may not look healthy, but these ‘blemishes’ are actually an indicator of a powerful antioxidant punch. These spots mean the banana’s chlorophyll has broken down, indicating increased antioxidant levels vi. Antioxidants can help to prevent and delay cell damage vii, warding off the hands of time. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin B6, but as they ripen, they also become an easily digestible carbohydrate viii, which may help to boost your body’s every levels. ix
How to enjoy: Banana smoothies are an ideal way to start your day, or enjoy one before exercising. A study by the University of North Carolina found that cyclists who ate a banana with water before a high intensity bike ride had more energy and focus than those who just drank water. x And of the 20 cyclists involved in the study, those who ate a banana before a 75 minute bike ride recovered 50 per cent faster. xi
Save a few and make a delicious, healthy banana bread to pop into your lunchbox to ward off hunger pains during the day.
Unsightly Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can grow in weird and wonderful shapes, due to stress while they are growing, the length of time they are left to grow, variance in soil and different exposure to heat and watering xii .
Despite their misshapen appearance, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring “phyto” chemical which gives the sweet potato its bright colour. Phytochemicals have been researched for their role in good health and disease prevention. xiii
How to enjoy: Mash, roast or fry your sweet potatoes for a tasty alternative to white potatoes. Boiling sweet potato enables your body to absorb the nutrients of a sweet potato easier. xiv
Carrots that are Misshapen
Bugs bunny’s favourite snack is good for us humans too. Carrots are a great source of vitamin B6, which aids in the conversion of food into energy. xv There’s no need to make sure there’s perfectly formed. Even carrots with their roots twisted around each other are good for us (roots twist around each other is due to overcrowding xvi during growing) which doesn’t affect their taste or nutrient value.
How to enjoy: Include carrots in a broth or chopped up in a salad or as a finger snack.
Strawberries with Split Ends
Strawberries spell summertime, long lazy days and sweet toppings for dessert. There’s no need to discard those which don’t appear perfect, or incomplete.xvii The natural sugar in strawberries can help give you an extra lift as they are an energy-boosting fruit xviii.
How to enjoy: Enjoy a tasty, but relatively healthy after dinner treat of chocolate covered strawberry dishes or add to a tart, Pavlova or your morning smoothie.
Try Adding Supplementation
Even if you are eating your fair share of ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables, many of us still fall short on the recommended daily allowance. Safeguard your daily health and inner beauty through a natural supplement. This can help you get the most energy and nutrients out of your diet. Options include Ubiquinol (the active form of CoQ10)—a potent antioxidant found naturally in our bodies and supports healthy energy synthesis xix. The key component to performing at your best each day is diet, and supplementing your diet with antioxidants like Ubiquinol may help on a cellular level to derive the most from your foods.
Thank you Eloise – that certainly is food for thought! I have often bought the ugly fruit and veg to save money, and now I’ll look out for the imperfect ones too. How about you? Wishing you all a wonderful and safe Christmas.