My photo
I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Rant - Hoodwinked!

This started out as a little post about strawberries but I can feel a Sunday Rant coming on!

These tiny, misshapen, irregularly coloured strawberries from my garden would never, in a month of Sundays, be granted permission to grace the punnets in shops.

The supermarkets have set a standard for produce that is ridiculous on several counts.
1. They have hoodwinked consumers into expecting perfect looking fruit and vegetables.
2. They have forced the growers to produce blemish free fruit and vegetables.
3. The varieties of fruit and vegetable grown has evolved to produce good looking fruit that travels well but with a loss of flavour.
4. Don't get me started on price manipulation!

These ugly little beasties
were so sweet and full of flavour
they almost hurt to eat.
My salivary glands did a backflip!


  1. I think your strawberries look great. the wet weather here has caused a lot of rot in ours this summer.
    I still buy fruit and vegetables from the supermarket sometimes but I try not to. I'm not fooled by their antics though.

  2. I know exactly what you mean from eating strawberries that I grew. The ones in the stores don't even compare!

  3. Ooh I do love your Sunday rants. I believe I would have grown a couple of imperfect looking strawberries too if the goats next door hadn't munched them to twigs.

  4. There is nothing to compare to homegrown strawberries, I agree.

  5. I worked at a packing shed for 13 yes.Packing produce grown by our local farmers.Some where packed for Agents in either the Brissy,Sydney or Melbourne markets.Others were packed for orders from Woolworths.....For my last 6 or 7 years there I was the Quality Control Officer.The strict quality control guide line for Woolies was just mind blowing! In a 10 kg box of beans,there were to be no more that 2% that had a mark!Meaning a rub or spot!no curly ones..short ones.. NO grub holes!No seeders.. The amount of waste,amazing! Tons!!!Sometimes there would be,depending on how much we packed..5 or 6 1/2 ton bins of waste, A day!.Then the! NO marks, all first rubs,no dints where the fruit had been sitting against the stalk!!Again..tons of waste every day! I could go on and on...but I think you get the picture..Oh,and btw,those 'fresh beans' you buy at Woolies,yeh,not so fresh! We packed the day after they were picked,then they went on the truck the next day..and if they were headed for Melbourne..they were about a week old by the time you see them on the shelf for sale :0)

    1. Wow! What an indictment on the system! Thanks for the inside story.

  6. Very interesting comment from granny.
    I just love my home grown strawberries that are warm and soft and delicious and best eaten freshly picked.

  7. When we harvested our firs strawberries hubby thought I had added sugar to them. But no that's how they were, and yes they did not look as perfect as the store bought bit ohhhh so much nicer to eat

  8. I love homegrown strawberries. Those small ones are always the sweetest. Mine all shivelled up and died while we were away over Christmas.

  9. In the UK the supermarkets have taken to selling fruit for "home ripening" - in other words they admit that it is unripe. Having been picked before it's ready, the fruit often does not ripen at all. It just goes bad. I'm sure this is another ploy to aid transporting the fruit: hard fruit are more difficult to damage!
    Nothing compares to home-grown fruit eaten minutes after picking!

  10. Did you catch The People's Supermarket on the ABC recently. One of the episodes was all about this very issue. It's mad what we have been fooled into accepting by our big supermarkets and even the smaller greengrocers generally only stock perfect looking produce. Not one thing from my garden would come up to scratch, but it beats the hell out of shop bought stuff when it comes to taste.

    By the way, I have a little Sunday Rant of my own going on - totally different issue - hope you don't mind me stealing your theme.

  11. Presentation takes priority over natural goodness in supermarkets nowadays, sigh...

    Those huge, perfect looking strawberries in supermarkets tend to be tasteless but those small, not so perfect looking ones are the ones bursting with sweetness and flavour. Now that's really beautiful!

  12. Your strawberries are perfect! Grocery stores are so limited with their regulations on size, shape, variety etc - such a shame. I'm glad to see a two legged carrot come out of my garden or a funny looking parsnip! Happy Growing!

  13. There is a huge local produce stand practically in my backyard. It's a real challenge for the farmers in our valley to provide fruits and veggies that city-spoiled people will buy. First, if it's a vegetable that's not green beans or corn, they don't know how to cook it, so they won't even buy it. Half of them ask about pesticides and do not approve of their use, but they will bring back an ear of corn and tell tales about gagging when they found a silkworm on it. (I have chickens, so I make good use of silkworms.) The problem with uninformed consumers is getting worse here because none of the new housing developments has a yard big enough for an actual garden. People don't know how plants grow, their houses are so close together your neighbor could hear your guinea pig fart and would complain about it, so many people never have pets. The exception is immigrant communities, where there are huge communal garden spaces and chickens in all the backyards. In the past 10 years many of the Southeast Asian immigrants have rented small plots and are raising strawberries that they sell at little stands. Yum!

    By the way, there is no waste at the produce stand. The less beautiful veggies and fruits are boxed and picked up at the end of the day by Senior Gleaners, or by savvy customers who do their own canning and are looking for a bargain. The actual culls go into a truck that takes its load to a feedlot at the end of the day.

    You can eat really well around here if you're not a grocery store graduate.

  14. I am with you on the strawberries you can't beat home grown, the shop ones are all looks and no substance! Just had to say that header photo is really gorgeous.

  15. I can just imagine the taste Hazel, They also advertise on a lot of tv cooking shows that people eat with their eyes, Now there is certainly something to be said about that!

  16. Nothing like the flavor of home grown produce!

  17. Aren't we the lucky ones, we know what real food tastes and looks like! I had my first lime from my tree yesterday. :) In my eyes it was beautiful!

  18. Actually your little ones look like alpine strawberries ... we saw them growing wild in the Bavarian Black Forest along with wild raspberries... tiny fruits but with such concentrated flavour... wonderful... a few of those wild strawberries scattered on vanilla ice cream... out of this world...
    I have looked for alpine strawberry plants but not found... so perhaps if i plant normal ones they may return to wild...

  19. Hazel, I have native wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) that grow all around my house. When they ripen in summer, I spend hours picking them. They're tiny, but they pack a flavor whallop. Reading your post, and seeing those photos, made my mouth water at the memory of those delicious berries (or maybe in anticipation of the ones to come in a few months!). -Jean


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