I’m often frustrated when I visit the fresh produce section of the supermarkets in Australia. Why is the range of available fruits and vegetables so limited? If I go to an Asian grocery like Golden Choice, there are five times the number of fruits and vegetables on offer. Is it because Australians are unadventurous in their eating habits? Do they prefer the pristine, perfectly shaped, and often less tasty produce found in the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths?

Rambutan and Mangostein fruit

The reason I love to buy unusual fruit is that:

  • I genuinely find the different tastes and textures intriguing.
  • Different types of fruits and vegetables contain various nutrients and minerals; eating a variety means that you’re more likely to get those that you are missing.
  • Many uncommon fruits are well-suited to grow in the Australian climate, but experimentation with new crop types is risky for farmers and takes time until the first yield. On the flip side, if you’re first to market as a producer, you can often charge higher prices!

Whenever I’m at a regular supermarket, I make a special effort to buy fruits and vegetables that are seasonal or unusual, even if they’re a little more expensive. I do this to try and influence whether supermarkets are likely to stock them again in the future. In a capitalist society, this is the best way to facilitate change as a consumer: vote with your wallet by choosing products that you want to see more of.