Television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall used parsnips as an example of the waste in the food industry in the first of his two Hugh’s War on Waste programmes which was shown on BBC One on Monday 2 November.
He visited the Hammond family at Tattersett Farm in Norfolk where he saw 20 tons of parsnips a week wasted as they did not meet Morrisons’ specifications. Olly Hammond, who runs the family business with his mother Debbie, told the programme, “If we sent in these parsnips they would be rejected and returned the next day.”
Although the Hammonds were initially happy to appear on camera, they later withdrew from a follow-up piece, allegedly due to pressure from the supermarket, which also refused to discuss the issue on camera during the first episode. In a statement the company said it had previously tried to sell wonky parsnips but customers had not bought them.
The second episode of Hugh’s War on Waste will be screened on BBC One at 9 pm on Monday 9 November.