Planting Seeds: Ugly Produce

angela_uglyfruit-e1448411214301.jpgIllustrations by Candace Rose Rardon

This article blows me away and makes me think “Damn, how much food is wasted in America?”

I saved this article, as I wanted to present it to the youth at the garden club this summer with a simple test- “Which one would you eat?”

With my table set with various goodies from my favorite produce stand, I watched kids look, laugh, and observe. Then it happened. A little boy (after deep thought) pointed and answered, “That one’s perfect, but tiny. I’ll take that other one, because my mom would make it last longer.”

His friend blurted out “Don’t they taste the same anyway?”


These kid were nine and 11 years old. Middle school is an age when kids are looking for opportunities to make choices and be a little daring. It was clear they were getting the lesson. It’s not what something looks like, but what it tastes like. It is up to us to plant a seed. That’s all I’m looking for at this age. They might not come back to it for a while, but it is there. It is my hope that the children I play in the dirt with will also continue these conversations at home, and as things bloom and begin to harvest they will introduce their families to new foods and way of eating.

Great reads

How to  cut down on food waste

Potato Soup, with a Side of Seasonal Food Talk

The Woman Who’s Inspiring a New Generation of Black Farmers

Girls Project: Helping Girls Transform Their Future by Gardening

Eat More Ugly Fruit (+Veggies)

One Little Conversion

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8 Responses to Planting Seeds: Ugly Produce

  1. Elisabet says:

    We tend to waste food, we can no longer even donate food, fear of contamination. In my neighborhood where there’s patches of dirt school kids of projects are learning to cultivate it and plant veggies four the Sumner. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      It does seem to be the American way to be wasteful :(. Many cities have learned that patches of dirty make great outdoor classrooms and gardens. That is how my local youth garden club was born. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No produce is ugly!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: White Beets Meet Summer Salad | Real Life of an MSW

  4. Hamish says:

    Thank you for sharing this, the responses of the kids is so eye opening. We really do need to focus on taste when it comes to food and not throw things out our bypass them in the markets because they look different.

    Grow more of our own when we can. I live in an apartment at the moment, no space for a big garden, so I know I want to move into a house with a yard and do some vegetable growing myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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