/ Food & Drink

The small, but mighty veg – are you sold on the idea?

Miniature food

After months of veg shortages, leading grocers have been busy developing a new generation of fruit and veg that could patch up the gap. Small, but mighty, it’s tipped to be the next health food craze – but will you buy into it?

At first glance, it looks like a view into a Borrower-sized world with maris pipers the size of a 50p piece and apples more like Smarties.

According to scientists, this new generation of micro fruit and veg is packed with all the nutrients of standard-sized fruit and veg, but at a fraction of the calories and cost – not to mention size.

So could this finally be a shrinking product that comes with benefits?

The science

The idea for the new-sized fruit and veg was made up by a group of experts from the farming sector and supermarket industry, the Taskforce of Supermarkets and Horticulturists (TOSH).

Put together by the government last November, it has been working with scientists to identify new ways to cultivate fruit and veg in UK, and offset any future shortages.

According to the TOSH website, the micro-sized fruit and veg – from compact cabbages and courgettes, to mini melons – takes next to no time to grow and needs relatively little sunshine to ripen. This means they can be sold at a fraction of the price of standard-sized fruit and veg.

For comparison, a 1kg bag of new potatoes would set you back around £1, but a nutritionally equivalent 1kg bag of micro new potatoes will only cost around 50p, which is unbelievably good value.

What’s more, the petite potatoes take minutes to cook and while they may not be quite as filling as standard spuds, they, along with the other mini products, have been hailed as an excellent means of cutting down on calories without losing any of the goodness.

Bonsai bananas

Of course, much of this produce has been sourced from genetically modified crops, which has received some criticism in the past.

However, those looking for a more organic approach, may be pleased to hear that a small cooperative of farmers in Thanet, Kent are already producing micro crops grown on bonsai trees.

The Bonkers Bonsai Farms will be selling produce in all major supermarkets over the next few weeks and head farmer, Frank Little believes its bonsai bananas, in particular, will disappear in seconds.

He said: ‘Micro fruit and veg is a triumph in horticultural science. It will allow parents who struggle to get their kids to eat their greens to present them with nutrient-packed meals with untraceable veg.

‘And with apples and pears the size of Smarties, they’d be foolish to refuse them.’

So, will you be buying into this new craze? Could this breakthrough get more kids eating their greens and help dieters cut back on calories? Or do you think it’s all a bit of a joke?

Comments
Member

Brilliant idea for kids. And if they are given flavours like chocolate flavoured carrots, lemon flavoured sweetcorn, strawberry flavoured tomatoes…….. the benefits are endless. 😁

Member

I agree – this has so many further advantages. We won’t need such big plates taking up space in our cupboards, saucepans can be smaller and lighter making them less harmful when thrown at people, and the washing-up can be done in a jiffy without the need for a big machine. We shall need less land for crops so there will be more spare fields on which to build more new flats and cottages with minute kitchens. In pubs and restaurants, ready-meals in a matchbox will be possible – probably more nutritious and tasty than the present offerings. We should be careful not to reduce the size of animals too much to produce smaller joints and portions because we will still need as much wool and leather as ever [unless there is an even more dramatic revolution] and little horses would need midget jockeys. I can’t wait for Hallowe’en with all the micro-pumpkins lit up on our houses. I have just eaten a full-size banana and felt quite disgusted.

Member

And they could be freeze dried, formed into tiny tablets and dispensed with a drink at lunchtime: your 5-a-day in one quick swallow. I know there’s at least one company working on dehydrated water tablets, so that could make the entire process very simple.

Member

Ha! Ha!

Member
Sally says:
1 April 2017

A clever article for 1st April !

Member

Are you suggesting this isn’t for real, Sally? It struck me as highly plausible in this age of fake news.

Member

I have just seen a tweet from Donald who saw this article before it was published. How can this be Duncan? He has pointed out that as all fruit and vegetables grow from tiny seeds, and all the nutrition in the big plants and their produce that must result come from this seed, just cut out the wasteful space-consuming growing stage – produce only seeds. Even tinier than the micro veg proposed. More room for golf courses.

David Attenborough has researched this topic in the past and his unpublished work, of which I have a copy on VHS, hypothesises that, faced with the problem of ever increasing population and pressure on food sources, instead of growing micro crops the very advanced civilisation of the time decided to go down the GM route in a different way. They developed micro people. It was almost totally successful and trillions of the alternative natural trial species are likely to remain when the human population succumbs.

Member

I do love how this article has been put together. We need more news like this, real or not!

Member

Apples the size of smarties sound delicious. 🍎 Although I’ve had tomato caviar which is tiny tomatoes and they are far too strong in taste. 🍅

Also, I heard Tesco is bringing out a shrink ray so you can shrink your own food. Or maybe it was the other way around?

Member

Shrinking products are not new, as we have seen from a previous Convo. Is this all part of the same development? Full shrinkage takes time and there will be many mistakes along the way. GM Toblerone has only managed limb loss without overall shrinkage. The £5 note is a better example of creeping shrinkflation; not only is it smaller but it buys less.

Member

Sadly my local supermarket appears to have sold out of these micro fruits and veg ☹️ – very disappointing as I was hoping to make mini fools puddings with the micro fruits…

Member

I sometimes shop at Sadly’s too, Lauren. I noticed they have a miniature tea drink, just one pekoe orange tip, a drip of milk and a grain of sugar but it keeps you going all day long. Their digestive biscuits are like tiny buttons and they come on a short stalk – 50p for 24 or 48 for £1.

Member

No miniaturising the cups of coffee, please. There are limits.

Member

I like the supermarket name , John. Maybe you’re on to something. Your starter for ten..

Member

It was Lauren who told us about “Sadly her local supermarket . . . ”

I just happened to pop in there one day for a little something.

Member

Which sadly wasn’t there…?

Member

I like the idea of miniature fruit & veg. Attractive presentation of food is part of the enjoyment of eating.

Member

I wonder what petit pois were before the French miniaturised them. Perhaps the size of melons? Maybe nothing is really new.

Member

It’s shelling the magnetout peas that I dislike most.

Member

Quite agree, Wavechange. Those little pellets spoil a good vegetable.

Member

Malcolm – I think the French had a Grande Pea competition to see how high they could go but we didn’t like that so we called it the Garden Pea contest which in turn produced the Mushy Pea where there is no discernible shape, texture, taste, satisfaction, enjoyment or other benefit – just a lingering smell. This is why they all want us to leave the EU but, perversely, they are making it difficult.

Member

Happy Assyrian New Year -first day of Nissan , to eat this miniature food US scientists are working on a complete electro-mechanical body with a brain at the top , those new “human beings” will eventually take over the world and replace the “old models ” which are classed as inferior to the new advanced species. Your job is to find out if “the Donald ” told me that / they really are working on it or it is a fake statement . Already from stem cells the whole of a females reproductive system has been created including the liver , no word on men,s yet . The mind boggles as to what ,s going on in US labs.

Member

American science is where Hollywood meets 1940’s German medical experimentation.

I’m surprised they don’t go straight for one central brain communicating wirelessly with all the sub-beings which would be capable, like the salamander, of regenerating lost or damaged body parts.

Member

They are well ahead on body part regeneration ,tried it out first on all sorts of animals , hearts ,livers, etc , no brains yet , they are having a field day on stem cells John. Your perception is right those new “human ” robots will have Bluetooth. “Food ” manufactured in labs is doing well its just getting used to steak soup. PS- your right again -biggest US import at the end of WW2 ? – German scientists + all the scientific stuff they spent so much time bombing + a-“get out of Nuremberg Trials Free” card for them .