Great news... Countdown are going to reduce the amount of wasted fruit and vegetables due to the aesthetics. The first produce to join The Odd Bunch will be hail-damaged stone fruit and carrots, with more fruit and vegetables appearing on shelves in the next few months.
Countdown's general manager merchandise, Chris Fisher, said the campaign was about reducing food waste, supporting growers by taking more of their crop, and helping to make healthy food more affordable.
"There are any number of reasons why produce might look a little unusual, from growing at an odd angle to being affected by the weather. It still tastes great and is just as nutritious as regular produce.
"We think many shoppers will forgive a little ugliness to help combat food waste and save."
"Imperfect fruit and veges can still be delicious."
Kevin Wilcox, managing director of fruit and vege grower A S Wilcox and Sons is supplying onions, carrots and potatoes with branches in Ohakune, for The Odd Bunch.
"As a grower we take pride in supplying premium quality vegetables, however, it's frustrating to witness a portion of our produce going to waste simply on account of shape or other cosmetic defect that has no bearing on the taste or nutritional value of the vegetable."
The Odd Bunch is packaged in polyethylene, a single resin recyclable plastic that can be recycled in selected stores as part of Countdown's soft plastics recycling programme.
Prices will vary depending on seasonal price fluctuations and stock availability.
Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are packed with a myriad of herbal remedies for common ailments, especially with winter on its way.
On closer inspection these products are mostly derived from non indigenous plants, which have a long history of medicinal use in Europe.
We need to embrace of NZ native plants.
For instance, Murdoch Riley’s book “Maori Healing and Herbal” has pages of medicinal information, reflecting the depth of Maori knowledge developed over centuries of observation and use.
These plant remedies are still widely used today, by both Maori and pakeha (non Maori) the ritual and spiritual aspects are still relevant in Maori communities.
But we don't use them??? I think knowing about their special properties enriches our experience of native plants, and provides another reason to keep biodiversity in Aotearoa.
Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum, or pepper tree)
Kawakawa is an easily recognized shrub, with aromatic, heart-shaped leaves, that grows widely in coastal regions.
Kawakawa gives us a clue as to why the first arrivals here from Polynesia called it that. The leaves are like its relative, kava (Piper methysticum), used widely in the South Pacific, Kava has a narcotic effect.
Kawakawa leaves are highly valued for relieving bronchial complaints. Boil a handful of the fresh, young leaves in a small saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes, then drink half a cup of the liquid to relieve chesty coughs.
To make a distinguished tea, for use as a general tonic, it’s best to dry the leaves first, then use a small quantity in a teapot. It’s very good for relieving indigestion.
The fruits and leaves were chewed for toothache – swallow the saliva and keep the leaf matter in your mouth for some time. (The active ingredient is myristicin, which is related to eugenol, a dental analgesic)
Kawakawa leaves were commonly used in hot baths for rheumatic and arthritic pains.
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