Don’t pass over that scarred fruit or misshapen vegetable – it might actually contain more beneficial phytonutrients than the more perfect-looking ones next to it.
“Many cosmetic defects in fruits and vegetables are the result of some kind of stress – exposure to insects, excess exposure to sunlight or poor soil,” says Nutrition Technology Strategist at the Nutrilite Health Institute.
“Some early research suggests that produce stressed by these factors may contain higher levels of beneficial compounds called phytonutrients that protect plants from these stresses. Interestingly, many of these same compounds may confer stress response protection when consumed by humans.”
An emerging consumer produce trend known as the “ugly fruit movement” is sweeping across much of Europe and the US.
Cosmetically imperfect fruits and vegetables that are normally discarded because of their superficial blemishes and distorted shapes are now becoming increasingly available to consumers – at lower cost than cosmetically perfect counterparts.
“That might result in increased fruit and vegetable consumption, a much-needed improvement in most diets, which lack recommended quantities of these healthful foods” continues.
The trend could be a triple win: reduced food waste, increased income for farms, and increased consumption of healthy phytonutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.