Why I Love Ugly Fruit and Veg

Ugly is under-rated.

I learned about the brilliant Ugly Fruit and Veg campaign when I was interviewed by Marjorie Alexander on the Sustainable Mind podcast in 2016.

Jordan Figueiredo, who started the Ugly Fruit and Veg campaign on the side of his waste management job in California, was a guest on the show just a few episodes before me.

The Ugly Fruit and Veg campaign taps into an odd but true instinct that we have as humans to love and protect things that are so ugly that they are considered cute. The campaign utilizes funny, beautiful, and amazing images of less-than-perfect produce to highlight the fact that up to 40% of all produce goes to waste because of strict grocer aesthetic standards.

When I need a pick me up (or want to make my kids giggle enough that maybe they’ll feel sorry for the sad-faced Kohlrabi that they’ll actually try it), I go on to Ugly Fruit and Veg for inspiration.

Odd shaped and otherwise waste, these fruit and veggies are fun to taste

Try out if ugly works for you. I have seen the ugly factor break down the pickiest of eaters. Food struggles and picky eating usually are rooted in power struggles and the resulting negativity around food. Ugly Fruit and Veg photos bring out laughter and positivity to dissolve the negativity and barriers. Give it a shot. Maybe the peaches that look like butts won’t solve your problem, but you might have luck with heart shaped purple potatoes and monster-like squash. See what makes a family laugh hard enough that you just might eat it.

Banana Soft Serve

Bananas get brown and ugly, and that’s the best time to make Banana Soft Serve!

Ripe bananas, frozen

Any other add-ins you can dream up (almond butter, frozen berries, nuts, etc.). See variations listed below.


Slice ripe bananas into quarter-sized pieces and place them in an airtight bag in the freezer. Within a few hours, they will be frozen. Place the equivalent of about one banana (slightly defrosted) into a food processor. Process until smooth. The result: OMG, so good.

Variations to get you started:

  • Pineapple and Macadamia Nuts. Top with a few chunks of freshly sliced pineapple and chopped macadamia nuts.
  • Strawberry Chocolate. Add 1 cup frozen chopped strawberries to the food processor. Once processed, stir in ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or carob chips, or cacao nibs).
  • Cherries and Dark Chocolate. Top with a couple spoonfuls of cherries and a sprinkling of chocolate chips or cacao nibs.
  • Cinnamon Sunbutter. Add 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the food processor.
  • Mango Peach. Add ½ cup frozen chopped mango and ½ cup frozen chopped peach to the food processor.
  • Raspberry Almond. Add 1 cup frozen raspberries to the food processor. Once processed, stir in ½ cup chopped almonds.
  • Dark Chocolate Banana. Add 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate sauce to the food processor.
  • Apple Pie. Simmer chopped apples with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (or cook them in the rice cooker!). Let the apple sauce thicken and cool, then pour over banana soft serve.
  • Strawberry Pistachio. Add 1 cup frozen chopped strawberries to the food processor. Once processed, stir in ½ cup chopped roasted, unsalted pistachios.
  • Blueberry Banana. Add 1 cup frozen blueberries to the food processor. Once processed, top with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or almonds

 What do you think? Try out UGLY at your next dinner party and let me know! 🙂


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