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Singaporeans Urged to ‘Embrace the Ugly’ to Reduce Food Waste

Image from Happy Plate SG

Image from Happy Plate SG.

A social-media campaign is calling on Singaporeans to reduce their food waste by buying and using so-called “ugly food” — food products that are visually unappealing.

According to the National Environment Agency, Singapore generated 788.6 million kilograms of food waste in 2014. This is roughly the size of 1,500 Olympic-size swimming pools, or the equivalent of about two bowls of food per person per day, all year long.

Meanwhile, a consumer survey revealed that 83 percent of respondents said they would only purchase fruits and vegetables that look fresh and good, while 52 percent said they would most likely avoid purchasing “ugly food,” such as bruised, misshapen, or discolored fruits and vegetables, plus off-cuts of meat.

For Eugene Tay of Zero Waste SG, discarding “ugly food” contributes to the country’s waste problem:

For a long time, cosmetic filtering of ugly food is a problem. Ugly food is still food, and a lot of resources go into growing the food. If we throw it away just because it doesn’t look nice, then I think we are wasting these resources.

To remind consumers about the importance of reducing food waste, there's a new campaign urging Singaporeans to rethink their perception of “ugly food.” Some chefs have even submitted simple recipes explaining how to cook “ugly food,” instead of throwing it away.

Internet users are being encouraged to post photos of “ugly food” and emphasize the need to reduce food waste. This social-media campaign uses the hashtags #happyplateSG and ‪#‎uglyisthenewgood‬.

Below are some of the “ugly foods” photographed by Singaporeans.

This lemon has been in my fridge for more than a week and I had no intention to eat it cos it has got bruises and a puncture in the center. Then my friend told me about #happyplatesg . So I took the lemon and made myself a cup of lemon juice with warm water & honey, my dose of Vitamin C for today. Post a picture of your ugly food and share how you use the food for your meal, hashtag #uglyisthenewgood & #happyplatesg . For every 8 hashtag, Electrolux will fund the Fresh Food Truck for 1 day, ensuring the food bank Singapore collect and distribute excess perishable food items to families most in need across Singapore. About a third of the planet's food goes to waste, often because of its look. That's enough to feed 2 billion people. So from today, let's not waste food.

A photo posted by #ShaunLee_makeup (@shaunleelee) on

✖️ugly is the new good✖️ I watched a video the other day about how much food is wasted on a day to day basis. It's quite horrendous. So when I walked past a fruit shop the other day, I decided to buy the UGLIEST passionfruits 😁 they're sweeter, more succulent and whilst they're not much to look at, they tasted amazing. To help reduce food wastage, for every 8 times the hashtags #uglyisthenewgood and #happyplateSG are shared, Electrolux will fund Food Bank Singapore's Fresh Food Truck for a day to collect and distribute excess perishable food items to families that need it most – which is a cause I could get behind any day. So please post your ugly food shots, use the hashtags and lets reduce waste whilst helping to feed those in need. Thank you. #goodthingsmustshare #forthecommongood #uglyisthenewgood #happyplatesg #goodkarma #wastenotwantnot #singapore

A photo posted by Kelly Latimer (@kellylatimer) on

Happy Monday! We just want to shout out for a meaningful campaign of not wasting food wherever possible. You can also post a picture of your “ugly food” on Instagram with the hashtags -#UglyIsTheNewGood and #HappyplateSG before the end of November 2016. For every 8 hashtags shared, Electrolux will fund the Fresh Food Truck for one day, ensuring The Food Bank Singapore can collect and distribute excess perishable food items to families most in need across Singapore. P.S I finished these leftovers by my friends. . . . #NotSponsored #UglyIsTheNewGood #HappyPlateSG #sgig #sgfood #foodsg #foodie #sgfoodies #instasg #sgcafe #instafood #igfood #igdaily #sgfoodporn #vscocam #vsco #foodporn #foodgasm #foodstagram #sgeats #foodpics #foodlover #foodspotting #therantingpanda

A photo posted by theRantingPanda (@therantingpanda) on

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