Thursday, 12 November 2015

Wonky Veg .....


I don't know about everyone else but I for one have loved the two programmes with Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall this last couple of weeks.  His War on Waste is very timely and very necessary.

  (Episode One HERE (available for 20 more days) and Episode Two HERE (available for 27 days)

The amount of fruit, vegetables and good food that he and the 'skip divers' found outside some of the supermarkets was astonishing and quite frankly disturbing when there are so many hungry people around needing to use Foodbanks, and there are homeless shelters and charities that could use that food to make a warming evening meals for their soup runs for the homeless.

The 'wonky veg' that was refused by the supermarkets and in some cases ploughed back into the ground was terrible to watch, and to see the Hammond family driven out of a long standing family business supplying parsnips to Morrisons was heartbreaking.

I have had a few emails asking me why these farmers don't sell the produce themselves at their own gates or at Farmers Markets, and the simple answer is when you enter into a contract with a large supermarket you are tied legally to your contract to supply them and only them for as long as that contract lasts.  While you may take a few parsnips or whatever you grow for your own immediate family use nothing else can be sold via any other means until your contract ends.  

Sad, so very sad.


This is the main reason we decided to go down the self-sufficiency route and not a farming route, we couldn't hope to compete with with 'big boys' and if we have products to sell in the future WE will do the selling, and the only ploughing back will be the money we earn into things we need to continue what we are doing.

Although I doubt I could sell my little potato with the bulbous nose, I just couldn't resist taking out my marker pen and giving him a face  .... he was popped into a pan of soup after his photo call .... so nothing wasted here   :-)

Sue xx

32 comments:

  1. It was a truly 'shocking' programme wasn't it, especially Morrison's... not that I shop there. Not watched Episode 2 yet, it has been recorded.
    Love your Mr Potato

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have had a rant over this practice too, quite frankly its disgusting. The experiment by Morrisons was a joke. I will be emailing them personally as well as completing the on line petition which Hugh has directed at all the main supermarkets. I dare say your handsome spud didn't taste any different to the sleek smooth ones once cooked up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Labelling the courgettes as 'Class 1' and 'Class 2' but pricing them identically was ridiculous. The 'Class 1’ were also fresher, however much Morrison's staff denied it! They seem to think we consumers are all idiots and are treating us accordingly, so I'm protesting via my purse and shall, in future, not shop at Morrison's. If we all boycotted Morrison's, just for a couple of weeks, they would find out just how angry we are about their attitudes to food wast and their treatment of the farmers who supply them!

      Delete
    2. I'm already boycotting Morrisons after their despicable treatment of a poppy seller last year.

      They would not let a very elderly gentleman who was an official poppy seller, sell inside one of their stores and made him stand outside in atrocious weather even after numerous complaints from customers at his treatment. I have never shopped there since, nor will I again.

      My opinion of them cannot sink any lower than it already is :-(

      Delete
    3. Sue, I didn't know about last years poppy seller, or I would have stopped using Morrison's back then!

      Delete
  3. Truly shocking - the supermarkets should be ashamed of themselves. They have created their market and killed off everything else, and have far too much control. Time to fight back, I think!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You would have thought that if vegetables/fruitetc is rejected by the supermarkets concerned because they aren't pretty enough, then the supplier ought to be able to sell thing. The whole thing is disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is the same for egg producers. I know of a free range enterprise that sells to a supermarket. He has to get rid of is under/over sized eggs as he can't sell them from the road side (like I do on a teeny scale). He has recently bought a couple of pigs that are helping him with this. He says he certainly wont be selling any meat to a supermarket!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How are the pigs helping him?

      Defra rules state that pigs cannot be fed eggs in any instance, neither can products containing eggs be given to pigs, I know this for sure as we had to be so careful when we bred our rare-breed pigs and had our free range chickens close by.

      Delete
    2. Sorry that sounded a bit stroppy, I didn't mean it to ... I do hope he knows the law.

      Delete
  6. I was amazed at what the skip- divers found in the so called "rubbish" in the bins that are locked away at night outside the supermarkets! Why on earth couldn't all that food be left as " free to anyone" rather than chucking? I did hear though that some supermarkets have promised it to the foodbanks, etc. Not sure if I believe them. I just wanted to punch the cocky dark haired chap - a buyer - speaking about veg buying for Morrison's and all those orders cancelled at short notice!! Idiots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs LH, You can punch the dark haired chap if I get to slap the smarmy, self satisfied smirk off the fair haired bloke's face!

      Delete
    2. Oooh errrr .... now we're getting violent ;-)

      Delete
    3. Food rage takes on a new face, I guess. But, to be honest, all that waste does make anyone angry.

      Delete
    4. Watch the programme again, and study the looks on the faces of the Morrison's staff. I'm not a naturally violent person, but they were both definitely 'laughing up their sleeves' at Hugh and his ideas, which made me very angry!

      Delete
    5. I'm not violent either but both men's attitudes and manner really got to me! Like they thought Hugh was the idiot. It's put me off using that supermarket ever again.

      Delete
  7. Sue, you are just having too much fun with your vegetables.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Sue, I have been reading your blog daily for a long time now stumbling upon you via John at Going Gently and have to say I love it, but haven't commented before. There is no waste in our house like you everything is put to good use, it just takes a little effort and planning it's not rocket science is it, people are just lazy and over buy. We always comment on the piles in peoples trolleys at Christmas time, there is still only the same number of people in the country eating the same number of meals it is ridiculous and I wouldn't mind betting half of it goes to waste. As for the supermarkets well I am nothing short of disgusted and of course have signed Hugh's petition, looking back at his figures though yesterday I thought the total number of people who have so far was disappointing and hope it continues to rise. Another great campaign by Hugh as always, we really must all get behind this to stop the supermarkets scandalous behaviour!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Legaleagle is right, protest with your purse, but not just Morrisons all supermarkets follow the same practices. Boycott them all as far as fresh produce is concerned. All your veg, meat, fruit, fish, dairy and bakery can be got elsewhere. Support our producers or we will lose them, and as Sue has said, few new producers will choose to put themselves under the supermarkets dictatorial control as the customers continue to do.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well done with your blog post today. I enjoy reading very much.

    For anyone reading who lives overseas and wants to watch "War on Waste" it is available on youtube. Like others the program is disturbing on so many levels and as others remarked the test vegetables put on offer was just plain daft.

    ReplyDelete
  11. As I said on someone else's post, why these off shape veg can't be diced, sliced, mashed or heaven knows what is beyond me

    ReplyDelete
  12. I too have watched both of these programs and I think all the big supermarkets are to blame. I know lots of people that won't buy wonky veg ....i'm sure they would if they grew it themselves and realised the hard work that goes into each crop. Also, I get criticised for not spending money on clothes for myself but I don't look scruffy and my clothes are not worn out, so why would I get rid of them just so I 'Fit in' with the crowd. I felt quite smug watching the mountain of clothes thrown away this week and now I have an answer for those that don't like me wearing the same thing lol. Have loved this program....well done Hugh!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I saw the program on youtube and could have cried for that family of farmers. I didn't realize they couldn't sell all those parsnips at a farm stand. Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  14. Both programmes were very worrying, I had a veg box delivered this morning as I do every week, and had to laugh all the veg was the wrong shape, but we will eat all of it by next Thursday, tastes the same, that poor farmer makes me want to cry. The supermarkets need a good shake, we have stopped or are trying to stop going to one and use local markets instead. I also have joined project 333, this is my second year, love it

    ReplyDelete
  15. We were talking about these programs at work today and we were all shocked. As well as the supermarket wastage, I was amazed by the amount of food thrown out by individual households - £15 worth of food a week on average per household - unbelievable.
    I also have a veg box and appreciate the fact that all the vegetables are not of uniform size and shape. I might use a small onion, pepper and small carrots for a stir-fry and then a couple of large onions and bigger less tender carrots in a casserole. Perhaps it is a lack of confidence in cooking that is to blame, people may be afraid to change a recipe to make use of what they have rather than follow the recipe to the letter.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think you are right they where taking the Micky out of Hugh, they do not deserve out custom, we never shop in morrisons

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sue, I am sure your smiling spud made your soup all the sweeter.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I hope Hugh carries on with his campaigns. Someone to shake everyone up is what's needed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. How could you cook and eat Stan Laurel. That is the first thought I had when starting to read your post. I agree with everything that you say about waste, coming from Lincs I have seen field after field of veg go over and get ploughed in because a supermarket buyer has either cancelled the order or decided that they were not uniform or pretty enough.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well...thats ticked your entry in next years novelty vegetable class

    ReplyDelete

Sorry but I have added word verification to try and curtail the unprecedented amount of spammers recently posting comments. I will try this rather than stop Anonymous Users commenting for the time being to see if this will solve the problem. Thank you for your patience.