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save the earth by buying funny fruit

24 Feb 2013

Eat me!If you check out the fruit section at the supermarket, you’ll find perfectly formed fruit, rarely varying from the standard size and shape.

You might even start to think that all apple, pears etc look like that, but one glance at a fruit tree shows that a lot of fruit grow with bulges, funny crinkles and curves. (A lot like the human race!)

They all taste the same – but the fruit that doesn’t make the supermarket grade, ends up thrown away. A new campaign, Think.Eat.Save Reduce Your Foodprint introduced by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is looking to turn the tide on what constitutes ‘waste food’.

Funny Fruit 2Worldwide, about a third of all food produced, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages – harvesting, processing and distribution – while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food-supply chain.

“Aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilisers and labour needed to grow that food is wasted – not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Together, we can reverse this unacceptable trend and improve lives. In industrialised regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tonnes annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption,” said Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General.

“If we can help food producers to reduce losses through better harvesting, processing, storage, transport and marketing methods, and combine this with profound and lasting changes in the way people consume food, then we can have a healthier and hunger-free world.”

The campaign website,, provides retailers and consumers with simple tips. Users can make food waste pledges on the site and those running campaigns can exchange ideas and use the site as a platform.

Some advice offered on the website includes: shop smart, buy funny fruit, understand expiry dates and zero down your fridge.

The campaign is run with support of the SAVE FOOD Initiative, run by the FAO and trade fair organiser Messe Dusseldorf, that aims to reduce food lost and wasted along the entire chain of food production and consumption.

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