The other day, I passed by a café near my apartment. Intrigued by carrots in a carton in front of the café, I stopped and read the notice on the box.
I was ‘beary’ surprised to see the price. 100 yen ($0.91) for five fresh carrots! The notice said those were ‘poor’ carrots as they could not be sold at the wholesale market because of marks on them.
In Japan, the quality requirements for agricultural produce are very strict. Vegetables and fruit with marks or slight colour changes cannot be accepted in the market. Do these bruises really matter? For me, no. Not at all! Carrots are carrots. Moreover, these carrots are fresh from farm. The freshness must make them more nutritious than those sold at a supermarket.
The owner of the café, Zuccamo, decided to purchase damaged carrots directly from farmers and then sell them in front of the café. Otherwise, these carrots would have been thrown away. What a waste!
I bought a package of five carrots, which I cooked to make various dishes. They were all delicious! Thank you ‘beary’ much to carrot farmers for growing these carrots, and to Zuccamo for taking the initiative to reduce food loss!