This box throws up a couple of issues about the veg you get in veg boxes: 1) sometimes it’s not that ‘pretty’ and 2) sometimes it needs a jolly good wash!
Organic is Great, But it’s Not That Pretty
This issue opens a can of worms. My carrots are odd-shaped and a bit dumpy, the swede is pitted, the onions are tatty and the runner beans are scarred, but none of this should matter. We shouldn’t expect our veg to look perfect, but we do because that is how the supermarkets (and us consumers) have demanded it.
Years ago I wrote an article for Health & Fitness magazine about exactly this issue. Most of us have learned to ‘shop with our eyes’ and pick out the most perfect-looking specimens on the supermarket shelf. However in Mediterranean countries, for example, people are more concerned with flavour and choose their produce by squeezing and smelling it.
Ugly = Tasty!
By consistently opting for good looks we are also banishing uglier yet tastier varieties of fruit and veg that are simply not being put on supermarket shelves anymore. And because they are not put on supermarket shelves, many farmers cannot afford to grow them because the buyers may not be there.
So I say, bring on the dumpy carrots and scarred runner beans, they’re fresh from the farm, free of pesticides and so much tastier than your average supermarket offering.
Needs a Jolly Good Wash
Another issue is that much of the veg arrives in need of a wash. This week, my carrots and swede are covered in earth – and the kale has a whole new surprise in store for me.
The earth is easy enough to deal with and proves to me that this veg has come straight from the farm. I only discover the surprise in the kale when I enlarge the photo I took of it.
Buuuuuuugs!!! I would never have noticed them otherwise. Needless to say, I gave the kale a good bath.
The moral of the story . . . always wash your veg!
UPDATE: I’ve just found a great post on the Bread & Honey blog where they found something very interesting in their packet of frozen broccoli . . .