UGLY FRUIT INITIATIVE: PHOTOGRAPHIC PRESERVATION

WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER

I recently stumbled across an article on photographer Uli Westphal and was inspired by his creative approach to encouraging greater diversity on supermarket shelves. Uli documents "ugly" fruits and veggies that remind us that plants are rich, varied, and of all shapes and sizes. Our vision of a carrot, for example, likely stems from the kind of carrots--bright orange, machine-whittled--that we cart home from the produce section. Some carrots, however, branch into two parts. Some are purple, gold, red. Some are crookedly shaped and lumpy. Through his photo series, then, Uli brings to life the startling variety inherent in fruits and veggies, helping both to expand our understanding of what's edible and preserve plant biodiversity.

Check out his photographs. And when you're near to a farmers' market, be sure to buy an ugly fruit or veg. These funny fellows need our love, not only because it helps reduce food waste, but also because changing conceptualizations of what's "buyable' can drastically improve sustainability in agriculture.