Why Eating Imperfect Fruit And Vegetables Is Planet-Friendly

Why Eating Imperfect Fruit And Vegetables Is Planet-Friendly

Jul 19, 2023Richard Tourino

There  are many reasons why it's good to eat fugly fruit and vegetables. One particularly phenomenal reason are the environmental benefits! Did you know that food waste produces eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions?

We all want to do our part to help shape a more sustainable future, and the good news is that one easy way to do that is to be less picky when picking the produce we buy!

The Fugly Truth Behind Perfect Produce

The produce you’re used to seeing in supermarkets may look perfect, but there’s a fugly truth behind their cosmetic faultlessness. Like us humans, no two pieces of fruit or veg look the same! Unfortunately, supermarkets don’t like flawed-looking fruit and veg, convinced that it will fail to sell, so they often reject it, leaving farmers with little else to do but discard it. Unfortunately, 20-40% of fruit and vegetables don’t even make it to supermarket shelves.

But the reality is that less-than-perfect looking produce is no less fresh, healthy or tasty. For every fugly we embrace, we’re saving it from being discarded in landfills, where it generates harmful greenhouse gases that fuel climate change. Furthermore, imperfect fruit and vegetables are more likely to be the result of more natural, chemical-free farming as store-worthy looks often rely on inorganic pesticides and other chemical products. 

Reducing Waste

By choosing to eat fugly, you’ll be helping farmers sell more of what they harvest, which means less ends up in landfills which produce harmful gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Moreover, misshapen fruit and vegetables often require fewer resources to produce when compared to what it takes to deliver the cosmetic standards set by major retailers. This is particularly important when water scarcity and energy consumption are pressing concerns within modern agriculture. For example, cultivating visually perfect production often requires more irrigation water, straining Australia’s precious water sources more than is needed.

On top of this, reliance on artificial inputs and specialised farming techniques is responsible for increased energy use. Embracing fugly fruit means contributing towards a more sustainable and resource-efficient agricultural system. Even just the process of hand picking picture-perfect produce for supermarket sale wastes resources. These resources can be conserved by only searching for the imperfections that affect freshness, taste or safe consumption.


The focus on perfect produce has led to a loss of biodiversity in our food system. Amazing produce such as the beautiful Romanesco cauliflower fade into obscurity because of a short-sighted view of what belongs on the supermarket shelf. Many traditional and heirloom varieties that offer unique flavours and nutritional benefits are all but overlooked due to our unfamiliarity with them. If we’re willing to buy less traditional fruit and vegetable varieties, we encourage farmers to grow a wider range of crops, preserving biodiversity and cultivating the long-term sustainability of our food supply. Loving diverse and unique fruits and vegetables helps maintain a resilient ecosystem and safeguards our food security.

Supporting Local Food Systems

The promotion of so-called ugly produce can also play a vital role in strengthening local food systems. When roughly a quarter of growers’ produce is deemed not perfect enough, they are unable to sell them, making it harder for them to stay in business. Long term, this means that the farms that do survive are the massive big-agri farming businesses and their logistics chains which mean that the produce isn’t as fresh as it could be by the time it gets to the supermarket shelves. By buying from farmers who grow fugly produce, we contribute to the equity, resilience and self-sufficiency of our communities. It means more farms closer to home and even fresher produce for all.

Good & Fugly’s Dedication To The Planet

Good & Fugly aims to provide customers with delicious, fresh and affordable produce, enabling them to help the planet, and in the push, pushing back on beauty standards that waste the good things of the earth. As our purpose is to reduce waste, we ensure that the entire product is as sustainable as possible. All our packaging is recyclable, from the box, to the insulating paper, and even the tape we use to secure the boxes. When you’re eating fugly, you’re doing good to yourself, your planet, and the growers that help put your food on the table.

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