A recent visit to the Hayward Gallery to see the mesmerizing group show The Human Factor brought on thoughts of society seeking perfectionism in nature. Artist Paul McCarthy’s shockingly life-like sculptures of a woman in 3 positions prompted not just a double take but a triple.
In the world of design, Photoshop has transformed our view of the human body to an unobtainable standard. This standard has trickled down into the food chain. Supermarkets are one on the major culprits in making consumers believe we must have perfection. Every year we waste 300 million tones of fresh produce; the rejection of fruit and vegetables that do not meet the strict criteria of the supermarkets rules and regulations.
French supermarket chain Intermarché caught our eye with their campaign to promote fresh produce ‘au naturel’, following the EU making 2014 the year against food waste. The campaign entitled ‘Inglorious Fruit and Veg’ took the produce their suppliers would normally throw away, gave it its own branding and sold it in store for 30% less than the ‘perfect’ produce. After initial taste tests the range sold out almost instantly and created a media frenzy about waste.
Smart marketing with a strong moral message.
As George Orwell cleverly quoted way back in 1945 – 1950 in his book ‘In Front of Your Nose’. The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.
Perhaps we can finally learn from this.