WITH record rain falling in agricultural areas of the country recently there has been a lot of wastage with fruit not being picked, not only because they have been spoiled but also by the fact that farmers cannot obtain fruit pickers to harvest the crop.
So what happens to all these worthless crops, those fruit rotting on the trees, or on the ground. Apples not quite ripe , small or misshapen, not suitable for the large stores.
Or stone fruits, available only at certain times of the year, too far gone to be enjoyed by the general public.
Not only fruit but vegetables inundated by the rising flow of flood water.
There is an ugly truth; food rotting on the ground releases methane, a gas that is believed to be 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide.
A huge amount of food produced in Australia is lost or wasted, around 7.6 million tonnes, costing $36.6b to our economy.
Up to 10% of global greenhouse gasses come from food that is produced but not eaten.
It’s a sad fact that this waste costs households around $2000 a year, with the most wasted being bread, fruit, bagged salads and leftovers.
It’s frightening to see how much food restaurants have to dispose of.
Yet we’re told that two million households went hungry in the last year due to the lack of funds, skipping meals or going whole days without eating to save for other essentials.
Back in October last year this column explored the idea that the cider industry were growing cider specific apples instead of using the more available granny smith and gala varieties freely available in Australia.
There are thousands of “ugly” or wasted apples not used, many are rejected because they are weird looking or not quite shelf right.
Fortunately there are companies specifically using this wasted fruit to enhance other beverages.
One such company is using these apples to make a nice Vodka. They go on to say that 20,000 KG of ugly apples have been re-purposed from the Goulburn Valley to create their first batch, thus saving those apples from been sent to waste or left to rot on the ground.
This sustainable spirit is made from a 50/50 mix of apples and wheat. It’s five times distilled premium grade vodka, for a smooth crisp taste.
There are countless companies gradually changing and challenging past methods of production, making products more suitable to the world we live in.
So, if you’re a vodka drinker, remember the ugly apples, they too have a future.
Till next time.