Pile of Banana is left to rot

A mountain of green bananas, on a farm in far north Queensland. They’ll be delicious once they’re ripe. But the major supermarkets refuse to sell them. This pile of fruit will be left to rot.

According to Coles and Woolworths, Australians won’t buy bananas that are “too bent”. Or too straight. Too long, short, fat or skinny.

The workers use measuring tapes to assess freshly picked fruit. Of the 80 million they grow each year, they’re forced to discard more than 30 million.

Australians are mad for bananas: they’re our top-selling food. But only those that meet bizarre cosmetic requirements reach the shelves. “It drove insane,” who examines “ugly fruit” in a three-part series ABC series, War on Waste. “Cavendish bananas can’t be ‘too straight’ but Lady Fingers can’t be ‘too bent’.

“We live in the city, we go to the supermarket and it all looks great. The more separated we become from “how food is made”, the more likely we are not to care.”

Naturally, retailers blame customers for being fussy. Yet their customers are appalled once they learn the truth. Rejecting perfectly edible bananas, they say, is ridiculous. Not to mention struggling farmers, whose margins are already wafer-thin. Or the fact that food waste in landfill creates greenhouse gases 25 times more potent than car fumes.

“We have to convert these statistics into something Visually appealing, otherwise they get lost,” ‘How many MCG stadiums would be filled by our food waste each year?’ ”

The answer is six: “A big problem is over-purchasing. You go the supermarket and go, ‘Oh, two for one!’ Then you don’t eat it, and it dies out in your fridge.

“I don’t want to overgeneralise, but the older people tend to use all their food. Why don’t we start reusing our food????


Reference: The Sydney Morning Herald

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