It’s supposed to be an ugly food market, comprised of fruits and vegetables that have been rejected by stores and supermarkets.
Yet there’s nothing ugly about it.
Some bell peppers are a tad wrinkly and others aren’t red enough; a few carrots are misshapen and the baby potatoes are too small. But overall, the food looks scrumptious.
This market — it’s actually one of 50 installations at EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology open to the public at 21 Don Roadway until Oct. 8 — sheds light on the issue of food waste.
“I was totally blown away,” says Toronto artist Robert Cram, referring to the “crazy amount of food waste.”
He created the exhibit in partnership with the Gladstone Hotel and Second Harvest.
“We need to re-address food esthetics and how we think about the look of food,” he says. “We treat it like it should be this polished commodity when it’s an organic product.”
In North America, it’s estimated that more than 30 per cent of produce is rejected by retailers for not meeting industry standards regarding size, quality, colour, shape. Meanwhile, one in eight Canadian families struggle to put food on the table, according to Second Harvest, the largest food rescue charity in Canada. Second Harvest gets excess and unwanted food from 472 farmers, retailers and distribution centres and delivers it to 253 social service agencies in Toronto, including food banks, shelters and meal programs. It also helps stock 15 food hubs across the province, which are organizations that then distribute food to local agencies.