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I’m looking at my food differently these days. This week, I harvested carrots for the first time ever. It was so much fun and something I hope everyone gets to experience. Funny thing is, every carrot I pulled out of the ground had a funny shape. Not one of them was the perfect canonical shape we see in major food stores and you know what?..I loved it! I loved how they weren’t straight, or cone shaped or that they didn’t even taste like the carrots in stores. I pulled one out that was wrapped and twisted around another carrot and I loved it. I wanted more ugly fruit, more unconventional shapes, more “rejects”. And then I thought, how come I don’t see any of these weird shapes at the supermarket? How many carrots do they have to grow to get only the perfect looking ones in the store? And how many more do they throw out because they look funny? It made me upset. We throw away so much food that doesn’t look pretty and they are perfectly healthy, but they just don’t fit the “look” of the ideal looking crop. Do we as a nation really throw away foods that don’t look hot? So I decided to look into this and so many sources claim that we, and I’m focusing on Americans, throw away food that doesn’t live up to our aesthetic standards (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly-fruit-vegetables-perfect?CMP=share_btn_tw). We throw away $160 billion worth of produce away annually which is roughly half of the food we obtain (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/american-food-waste/491513/). I’m floored and I just can’t stand those numbers. Why does hot food even matter when there are so many people who are undernourished in the developed world? What does health really mean if we are not eating food? Why are we not eating the real food and wasting half of it? These are questions I’m curious to get to the bottom of and I’m sure that food is not the only thing I’ll be looking at differently.

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