Love your ugly veg

There’s been a fair amount of coverage in the media recently about wonky veg, and the supermarkets’ costly distaste for it. Every year, an (almost) unbelievable amount of “imperfect” fruit and veg is rejected, and left rotting in large putrid piles. The travesty is that it’s not about taste or nutrition, it’s all about looks. Supermarkets want model veg that only subscribes to their pre-approved ideals; weight, size, colour, and finish. They’re just effectively throwing away perfectly good food.

Trug of ugly veg parsnips

I may well have won the ugly veg award this year, as my parsnips look as thought they’ve been cast under an ugly spell. I didn’t quite get the no-dig depths right in my parsnip bed, and the dry summer and lack of form mulch gave me twizzly roots and seemingly a new breed of mutant parsnip spawn.

Parsnips washed down

But I wanted to prove a point. No matter how ugly, twisted or gnarled my veg might be, it’s still perfectly edible. OK, so I had to lop off a few rusty bits of parsnip, but I still managed to finish up with a delicious spicy parsnip soup.

Parsnip soup in the pot

If there’s one thing that growing my own food has taught me, it’s that it’s not about looks; it’s all about personality! And that even the ugliest of veg – grown for pennies organically at home – can become the tastiest dish come dinner time.