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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
As someone who works in ag & food distribution I gotta disagree w this. A lot of "ugly" food -Won't survive distribution bc weird shapes makes it prone to getting smushed, bruised, start to rot, & make everything else in the box/crate rot. Broken skin does the same thing.
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Dr Sarah Taber
-Most "ugly" produce gets turned into soups, sauces, salsa, jam, ice cream, etc. You think that stuff gets made from the pretty fruit & veggies?! jeebus, think about it for a minute
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
-The amt of produce wasted bc of labor problems (can't get a crew to harvest) & bad weather (melons that rot in the field bc it's too hot & wet, etc) WAY outstrips produce thrown out bc it's "ugly." Bc again... we eat a LOT ugly produce. You just wouldn't know it bc it's salsa.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
As someone who works in produce, this whole "ugly fruit" movement is actually kind of enraging bc it's completely disconnected from what really happens in the supply chain. It's a big honkin wad of bullshit that self-promoting foodies get away with bc nobody knows better.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
After it leaves the farm, most produce goes to a packinghouse. This is where they cool, wash, sort, & package it. In other words, it's where the ugly fruit people think all this "waste" is happening.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
The only time packinghouses throw out fruit is when IT'S ACTUALLY INEDIBLE Like it's either rotten or (in the case of 1 watermelon field that one time) it had rained so hard that the melons filled up w water and were completely tasteless. Also about to explode.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Produce gets graded by size, prettiness, and (sometimes) flavor/eating quality. Know what happens to most of the produce that's edible, has enough shape to survive in transit, but looks funny? IT GOES TO THE GROCERY STORES THAT POOR PEOPLE SHOP AT
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
In the broke times of my life I did not shop at farmers' markets, bc they're at bizarre times when working class people are usually working or sleeping (late service sector nights > no 7am Saturday farmer's market for you). FM's are built around the 9-5 white collar schedule.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Most of your real poor ppl, when buying produce, get it from shops white collar ppl don't go to. Those shops stock ugly produce. That white collar ppl don't go to. Then conclude, looking at their nice stores stocked w pretty #1 produce, that nobody's eating the ugly stuff.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
So there's one beef. The "eat ugly fruit!" movement is classist as FUCK. You've got to have a debilitating level of ignorance to assume that if Whole Paycheck Market doesn't stock ugly fruit, it must be getting "wasted." 🙃
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Back to the packinghouse. When produce is EXTREMELY UGLY, it goes into cull bins. My fave cull bins to date: -Sweet potatoes. Did you know that they make a *lot* of giant, freaky-shaped spuds? Like a rat king of sweet potatoes, somewhere btwn football & basketball sized.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
What happens to these ugly, unloved sweet potatoes? OH WAIT THEY GET LOVED, THAT'S WHERE MOTHERFUCKIN SWEET POTATO FRIES COME FROM
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
-Apples. We love to *say* we don't mind "spots on our apples," but actual sales data tells us really, really do. And honestly, we should. Even "cosmetic" lesions can make micro-breaks in the apple's skin, allowing fungus to enter. One rotten apple, barrel, etc.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Fugly apples ARE WHERE APPLE JUICE AND APPLE SAUCE AND APPLE CIDER AND APPLE BUTTER AND APPLE JELLY AND APPLE PIE COME FROM "wasted" my ass
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
"but some apple variety are better for fresh eating, not processing" d'ya think Hy-Vee brand apple juice from concentrate really gives a single crispy fuck that today's shipment of cheap juicing-grade apples are not The Optimal For Juicing? NO THEY'RE GONNA JUICE THAT SHIT
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Did you know: Honeycrisp apples are extra prone to a mostly-cosmetic skin defect called bitter pit? Ergo, most Honeycrisp apples become apple juice. That's why whole, fresh, pretty Honeycrisp apples cost so fricken much. Because most of them become cheap bulk juicers.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Yes, every once in a while you'll run into a variety of produce that only really works for fresh & doesn't lend well to processing. This mostly happens w leafy greens (we don't make … lettuce sauce), which is such a minuscule amt of the produce tonnage grown per year.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
When produce is too far gone to sell & there's no processing market (say, melons), it often gets fed to livestock. That's… actually a lot of the point of livestock, historically. They eat stuff we can't & turn it into meat, milk, & eggs that we can.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
Feeding crop & food waste to livestock also means we're not having to use as much livestock-only cropland. Just assume that most years a certain %age of human food crops will get messed up & become livestock feed, and that's less pasture/grain land needed for livestock.
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Dr Sarah Taber Jan 17
Replying to @SarahTaber_bww
That Listeria outbreak in cantaloupe back in 2011? As best we can tell it happened bc they fed ugly melons to cattle. Which, in itself, is fine. The problem is they kept driving the truck back into the cantaloupe shed AFTER getting its tires caked in cow shit during deliveries.
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