Wonky vegetables go on sale in Cookstown

Asdas Wonky Veg Box, which will be available in its Cookstown store this week, is welcomed by Dr Ian Garner of the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign and George Rankin, Senior Director for Asda NI.

Asdas Wonky Veg Box, which will be available in its Cookstown store this week, is welcomed by Dr Ian Garner of the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign and George Rankin, Senior Director for Asda NI.

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It’s at this time of year that some us begin to think about planting a few vegetables, weather permitting of course, but all too often the final product is a far cry from the glossy photo on the cover of the seeds packet.

But that doesn’t mean you cannot eat these rare looking creations, and in Cookstown the ‘reject’ vegetable have gone on sale at the Asda store.

The retail giant has extended its Wonky Vegetable brand to Cookstown, with a family sized box which includes nine in-season misshaped vegetable lines.

The boxes are priced at £3.50 per box, which Asda say is 30 per cent cheaper than standard lines.

The supermarket led the market by introducing imperfect vegetable into a number of its GB stores in January 2015 with the move championed by Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty.

During the recent series of the show, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, the foodie stars revisited Asda’s wonky veg and challenged the supermarket to extend the range even further, which led to the new development.

Food waste remains a high priority for supermarkets and Asda say they have worked hard across its agricultural supply chain to reduce waste.

By reviewing standards around superficially damaged veg, over 340 tonnes of carrots and 300 tonnes of sweet potatoes that would have previously been rejected have been put on shelf at Asda.

Asda say that each box has enough produce to feed a family of four for an entire week for just £3.50 and includes vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, leeks, parsnips and onions.

The ‘wonkiness’ element of the veg changes by product. Currently, 15% of potatoes do not meet specifications because they’re too big, too small or blemished and 15% of parsnips don’t make the shelf because they’re odd shaped or have superficial defects.

George Rankin Senior Director, Asda NI said: “We’re really delighted to bring our exclusive Wonky Veg Boxes to our Northern Ireland stores as we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the initial trial in GB. It shows just how conscious our customers are about food waste.”