But you already knew this right? Here at The Produce Box, we’ve been encouraging our members for years to get past the look of the produce and straight into the heart of what they are purchasing and where it comes from. You sometimes will find “the uglies” in a Produce Box and we’ve learned that these little guys are just as healthy and tasty as their more popular counterparts. They all come from the same North Carolina dirt in our case!

For all our newbies and maybe some of our seasoned TPB members who just need a reminder, here are a few reasons why you should be eating those cosmetically-challenged fruits and veggies:

1.  Ugly produce may actually be more nutritious! Ugly produce grows under more stress and the plant responds by feeding more nutrients to the fruit. In fact, a study published in The Journal of Horticulture Science and Biotechnology in June 2010 found that apple peels with those “ugly” brown hard spots you sometimes find on apple peel had up to 3.1 times higher flavanoid content than the “pretty” apple peels. Flavanoids are a nutrient component best known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as well as their support of the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

2. Eating the “uglies” helps decrease food waste! On average, 30% of all produce grown in the US goes uneaten because it doesn’t meet retailers strict cosmetic guidelines. This food waste is the largest single component going into municipal landfills, which would explain why municipal landfills are now the 3rd largest source of methane in the US. Whoa!

3. Eating ugly veggies=happy farmers! Of course, one of the biggest impacts of eating those ugly veggies is on the farmers. Many of the large grocery store chains will not purchase the ugly produce from growers, forcing them to take a loss and/or find other outlets to try to sell their produce. This can be a huge economic burden on our farmers, affecting their livelihood and their ability to support their own families.

These are just a few of the reasons, why we here at TPB will always show love to the ugly fruits & veggies! We will never compromise on quality, but have no problems with that nubby carrot or misshapen zucchini. So, next time you get your box delivered and open up that top, show some extra love to that spotty apple and curvy cucumber…your taste buds will thank you! (Not a member, click here to join The Produce Box today!)

Written by Member Solutions Team Member Nicole

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