And I thoroughly applaud such initiatives. My gardening skills are minimal, and so I do have to buy the majority of my veg - and in this house, being too large, too small or vaguely misshapen is just not an issue.
So when Asda said they would introduce their 'wonky veg box' I was very interested. It weighs 5kg, costs £3.50 and is being trialled at 128 stores.
Some bloggers have reported an excellent choice of veg and good value for money. Others said "When I got to Asda, they said all the boxes went within 20 minutes, so I did not get one"
As we were near an Asda on Tuesday, we decided to pop in and see for ourselves.
The helpful guy on the produce section said "Oh we've had them twice now, but there are never very many and they go immediately"
So I asked which day they came into the store. This is where I got confused. He told me
"We never know when they are coming. The people at our packing depot put the wonky veg to one side, and when there's enough, they fill a few boxes and send them over"
Which is not what I'd understood at all, from Jamie's programme. There, the pickers at the farms said they had to sort the veg, and segregate the ones which were not up to standard, and these just went to waste, or landfill, or fertiliser. I thought Asda were going to have a 'second category' for the farmers, and buy their misshaped veg to sell at a lower rate, in mixed boxes. The clear implication of the assistant's words is that the wonky veg are sorted at the packing depot. Presumably these are ones which the farmworkers have already sent through to Asda, but aren't quite up to A1 perfection after all. So are the farmers able to sell the rest of their wonky veg to the supermarket or not?
I have read the statements about the veg boxes and it is not clear just how they get the contents. I think it is rather sad too, that these boxes are being trialled mostly in the affluent South - but not in the deprived areas of the country.
I shall reserve final judgement until I have more facts, and the opportunity to try out one of these boxes for myself. It seems a great idea in principle - but will it work out in practice? Have you enjoyed a curvy courgette, longer leek, or pointy potato from one of these boxes? Did you think it was good value?