Just in Time for Thanksgiving - Wonky Veg Reprise

Posted on 11/22/2017 by Jennifer Molineaux

The Inglorious Wonky Veg Revolution

My mother-in-law found my enthusiasm for this box of “Wonky Veg” to be most unseemly. (In England, “wonky” means awkward and misshapen but in a somehow endearing way. “Veg” is for vegetable.) I was following her around her grocery store on our summer visit to England, and we encountered this offering from the food waste revolution. Thrilled, I insisted we buy one because the ACEDC office watched this French video a year ago:

Intermarche - ‘Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables’ https://vimeo.com/98441820

Intermarche - 'Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables' from Goodvertising on Vimeo.

The idea is that fruits and vegetables which would normally be discarded for failure to conform to size and shape standards are instead sold to consumers at a discount. Farmers get paid something rather than nothing, consumer budgets can include a higher percentage of fresh vegetables, and waste costs are reduced. In my mother-in-law’s English grocery store, you pay the equivalent of $5 for a sealed box of mixed vegetables. You can’t rummage through; you just take your chances and unpack it like a Christmas stocking. Irresistible!

Here’s what we got:

Wonkey vegetables open box

Nothing was spoiled, in fact, it wasn’t all that misshapen. We were prepared to be a bit more entertained by grotesquerie. It was, in fact, a lot of nutrition for a great price.

I would make happy use out of “wonky veg” here at home. High gloss beauty standards aren’t my priority. My lunches tend to be smoothies made of the bug-sampled greens from my postage stamp garden and the fruit that sits in the bowl too long for anyone else in my delicate family. With a wonky veg box, I could make soups to my heart’s content and be gloriously happy feeling I was giving my farmers some return on food that wouldn’t otherwise sell.

I’m curious, now that I meditate on the subject, what the “wonky veg” equivalents could be in our Addison County businesses – and not just the farmers! Does your business pay disposal costs for something which could instead be used by one of your neighbors? I know that some of our wood product members already trade amongst themselves to make the most use and least waste of our trees, right down to the sawdust. Are you making clever trades? Inspire us with your creativity: send your stories and photos. Better yet, make a video! Maybe we can send it to France…

Jennifer Molineaux

Your (former) ACEDC Director of Finance