As I walked through our celeriac crop the other day, I realised that if all food was judged on appearances, then celeriac would never make the cut.
The beautiful vegetables of the tomato and pepper families would be right up there with the grand and beautiful Kardashians, but not celeriac. It scrapes the bottom of the barrel, but of course as we all know very well it is generally what is on the inside and not what is on the outside that matters. Where celeriac is concerned it packs a decent enough punch, it is of the celery family and has an amazing flavour and is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin K.
As with all beautiful and their not so beautiful vegetable cousins (and in my view all vegetables are beautiful so there will be no discrimination here please) the fresher they are the higher the nutritional content and the better the flavour and taste. So, what are we talking about here, well the point is I guess: size and shape doesn’t really matter when it comes to vegetable pecking order, but freshness does.
Now let’s take a magic transport capsule out of our mucky celeriac fields and transport ourselves into a glitzy shiny supermarket aisle, the kind that adorn our towns up and down the country, meccas to the perfect Kardashian like vegetable, clad in their shiny glitzy plastic wrapper, perfect of tone, shape, and proportions, to be admired and revered by all. You will find none of the “Ugly” crowd here they have not made the cut.
The forked carrots, the stumpy parsnips, the mishappen swedes and the knobbly ugly celeriac’s all get stopped at the door. You will not find these reminders of an imperfect food system in these halls of perfection. Ah, but maybe we have this upside down and back to front, surely this cosmetic perfection is not what we should all aspire to, maybe the Instagram-able carrot in all its glory is not the pinnacle of our food system, maybe just maybe there is another way? Maybe, it is time to start seeing the celeriac for the celeriac!
If one third of all food is dumped and part of that waste is created by food graded out and rejected based on shape, looks and imperfections at the supermarket’s door, then isn’t it time to get on board with accepting these nonconforming characters.
As earth’s population grows and as the penny finally drops and we realise that land is actually finite, (we cant actually make anymore, the wealthy sand bars of Dubai aside) and if the only choice we have is to chop down more trees to grow more soya to feed more cows, maybe it is time to say enough is enough and firmly invite the celeriac’s of the world to the table.
If we can cut down food waste then we need less land to grow food, because we need to grow less food. (The argument to grow less soya to feed less cows by actually eating less cows is a story for another day, an adventure that we will embark on soon.)
Although this has been written very tongue in cheek, we as always have the power right here at our finger tips to make a change, to reduce our waste, to choose the beauty on the inside, and if you really want to go out on a limb and be adventurous then we have decided to reduce our Rescue box to €15 (class one produce to fill this box would cost €30). This is a box of 10-12 items, chosen on the day, they may not be perfectly perfect, but they will be good enough to eat, and we think it is better to offer these boxes, invest the time in grading, checking and building these boxes than contributing to that already bulging mountain of food waste. This is in our view a win-win. You win you get perfectly fine produce for half price, we win as we don’t waste the food, and the planet wins.
Finally, here’s to all the imperfect celeriac’s of the world, may they reign supreme and here’s to you for bringing a bit of sanity back to our food system.
As always thank you for your support.
PS We have received the first delivery of Irish organic apples this week from Richard Galvin in Waterford and they are amazing to see them and all our other fantastic IRISH organic produce we have here click here.