Poll Finds Most Britons Not Bothered about Buying Imperfect Looking Fruit & Veg

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26th February 2013 16:14 - Food


A poll by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IME) has demonstrated that perfectly good vegetable and fruit crops around the world are unnecessarily going to waste because they don’t meet standards of physical perfection.

Between 30% and 50% of the food produced globally is lost or wasted because retailers and supermarkets impose strict appearance standards on fruit and vegetables – these items are frequently not harvested or do not leave the farm even if they are not uniform in size and shape.

Despite this stringent quality standard, the survey questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,007 people in the UK and found that over 80% of British consumers would be happy to buy fruit and vegetables which are not perfect in shape or colour.

This confirms widespread consumer acceptance of produce such as blemished potatoes, wonky carrots and discoloured cauliflowers - less than one-in-five people claimed they would only buy food that is uniform and perfect in appearance.

In total, 45% of those polled said that the appearance of fruit and vegetables doesn't matter; 26% said they simply opt for the cheapest option and 10% said they would even actively seek out and buy imperfect looking produce.

There was an interesting gender difference in opinion however – men were more concerned about food that is pleasing to the eye, with 22% only buying perfect-looking fruit and vegetables compared with 16% of women.

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