A worldwide concern is the amount of fresh produce that is wasted a year; a recent survey by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that 2.9 trillion pounds of fresh produce is thrown away each year. This massive value equates to almost one-third of the planet’s annual production, even more distressing is the fact that 800 million people throughout the world live in poverty and suffer from malnourishment. As highlighted by celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, 20-40% of produce is rejected purely due to aesthetic reasons, deemed ‘ugly’ produce. One organization thinks this amount of produce waste is too much and is using the power of social media to change the public opinion on ‘ugly’ produce. This article will explore the work carried out by ‘Ugly Produce Is Beautiful’ and the effects produce waste has on the world.
With Instagram becoming renowned for people sharing pictures of their ‘perfect’ lives, food experts are using the platform to raise awareness of ‘ugly’ produce. On the uglyproduceisbeautiful Instagram account, which boasts an impressive 47,500 followers, users share artistic images of produce in an effort to show that ‘ugly’ produce can look good too. The account aims to showcase that fruit and vegetables with minor blemishes are still good to be used in recipes, with little effect on their quality, taste or freshness. The account hopes to encourage more consumers to purchase ‘ugly’ produce and show retailers that misshapen or wonky vegetables are in demand.
Food waste also has a massive effect on the environment, this can be seen through the wastage of freshwater and agricultural land as well as fruit and vegetables in landfills contributing to global warming. Food wasted later on in the food production line has a worse effect on the environment than food wasted during the handling and storage phases. Wasted food is often thrown on landfills, here it is consumed by bacteria to produce the gas methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming by absorbing infrared radiation which heats up the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. In order to grow produce, a large amount of freshwater is needed, it is calculated that agriculture equates for 70% of water usage in the world. It has been calculated that the water used to help grow the 2.9 trillion pounds of waste produce is three times the volume of the water of Lake Geneva. When looking at agricultural land, it is predicted that one-third of the 1.4 billion hectares of international land is wasted. Not only are we missing out on the delicious flavours of ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables, but wasting the produce is also having a negative impact on our environment.
M&P Engineering is a leading manufacturer and supplier of food processing machinery based in Trafford Park, Manchester. M&P Engineering offers a range of food processing equipment including its onion peeling machine, food depositors and sachet filling machines. With over 50 years’ of experience in designing and manufacturing food processing machinery, M&P Engineering has become well established as the leading onion processing equipment manufacturer.
The large onion peeler tops, tails and peels onions of 45mm to 115mm diameter through a dry peeling process that uses self-adjusting floating knife assemblies. M&P Engineering’s onion peeler removes the outer skin through compressed air, ensuring optimum appearance is maintained throughout the peeling process. The small onion peeling machine is also a great addition to any factory, offering the ultimate shallot peeling machine solution.
If you would like more information about any of M&P Engineering’s food processing equipment, speak to a member of the team on +44 (0)161 872 8378 or contact us here.