醜蔬果有內在美 別丟垃圾桶
2015-12-21 14:59 聯合報 田思怡譯

Getting 'Ugly' Produce Onto Tables So It Stays Out of Trash

The eggplants are crooked and a little long-necked, contorted enough that they would probably lose in a beauty pageant against rounder or more symmetrical aubergines.

In the field where they were grown or in the supermarkets for which they were once destined, they would presumably have been discarded. Not because they are inedible — simply because they do not make the aesthetic cut.



But the notion that real food has curves may be as catchy as the subversive advertising campaign on women's beauty.

"We find that it is really easy to convince people when they realize they can pay a fraction of the price to get the same kind of taste and health," said Ron Clark, the chief supply officer for Imperfect Produce, a San Francisco Bay Area startup that has been selling what it calls "cosmetically challenged" fruit and vegetables for the last six months. "Once one person is convinced, it doesn't take much to get them to convert others."


「不完美蔬果公司」的貨源主管隆恩.克拉克說:「我們發現,在人們明白只要付原價的一部分就能買到同樣美味健康的食物後,要說服他們很容易。」這家舊金山灣區的新創公司過去6個月一直在賣它稱之為「外觀上具有挑戰性」的果蔬。他說: 「一旦說服了一個人,讓他再去說服其他人並不費事。」

Imperfect Produce delivers boxes of ugly fruit and vegetables to people's doorsteps in the Bay Area. A large box of mixed produce — 17 to 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables, with five to eight types of items, depending on what is in season — costs $18, for example; a small box of fruit (10 to 15 pounds) costs $12 a week. Clark primarily relies on buying produce directly from California farmers and supplements it with what he can find at wholesale produce markets in Oakland.

In food-obsessed San Francisco and its neighboring cities, the company has marketed itself in large part by relying on cheeky social media campaigns: A picture of a particularly odd-shaped pepper is accompanied with the message "bite me." A particularly bulbous tomato is labeled "my curves are good for you," and a strangely large lemon is "more to love."


在迷戀食物的舊金山和鄰近城市,這家公司主要靠拿醜來作文章在社群媒體上自我推銷:一個長相特別畸形的甜椒,旁白是「咬我」。一個鼓著怪包的番茄標示著「我的曲線適合你」,一個大得奇怪的檸檬寫的是「有更多讓你愛 」。

In some parts of the Bay Area, where farmers' market shopping is the norm and a $10 heirloom tomato hardly raises eyebrows, the notion that produce can be slightly discolored or oddly formed hardly seems like a tough sell. But Clark and his colleagues have not had an easy time of convincing mainstream supermarkets that their produce should fill the aisles.

"There's a leap here that not many buyers are willing to make yet," Clark said. "We've expected uniform produce for decades, so it's not going to change overnight."



Raley's, a grocery chain based in Northern California, sold Imperfect's peppers, pears and apples for a few months this year, pricing them about 40 percent lower than their more traditional-looking counterparts. But after introducing the pilot program with much fanfare, the chain dropped it this fall. Store officials declined to comment for this article.

Jordan Figueiredo, a solid waste specialist in nearby Castro Valley, began a social media campaign promoting ugly produce this year. Each day, he sends out pictures — carrots joined at the hip, apples with ample middles, whatever strange-looking thing that catches his fancy. He began a petition asking Wal-Mart and Whole Foods to commit to carrying ugly produce, but neither chain has signed on yet.



(Jennifer Medina, 紐約時報, 田思怡譯)


中文早有「歪瓜裂棗」甚至「蟲桃爛李,好吃無比」的說法,紐時則說eat ugly才是王道,勿以貌取蔬果。作者將挑蔬果比喻成選美(beauty pageant),往往只因不中看(cosmetically challenged)就遭到出局(do not make the aesthetic cut)。

Challenged(缺乏某種特質或能力)在這兒是詼諧的用法。用ugly形容其貌不揚太粗魯,用cosmetically/facially challenged比較委婉。

Make the cut是符合標準的意思,職業高球比賽前兩輪結束後取累計桿數在前半部的參賽者繼續爭冠軍,未能晉級決賽是miss the cut;be a cut above則是高…一等。

Produce當名詞指新鮮蔬果為主的農產品,例:organic produce;fraction是一小部分。夏綠蒂勃朗特(Charlotte Bronntë)的《簡愛》(Jane Eyre)主角自述:The play-hour in the evening I thought the pleasantest fraction of the day at Lowood...(傍晚的玩耍時間,是我認為在羅伍德(寄宿學校)一天中最愉快的一丁點兒片段)。

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