Press Centre

ASDA discovers natural preservatives for veg

Asda has unveiled its latest high-tech method for improving the shelf life of potatoes and carrots – good old fashioned mud.

It has started selling potatoes and carrots still covered with mud from the farmer’s field after experts discovered it can make each veg last TWICE as long in your home.

The mud acts as a natural preservative, preventing light from reaching the surface of the veg and helping to keep it cool. Leaving the veg unwashed also cuts production costs, making muddy potatoes and carrots up to a THIRD cheaper for customers. And prolonging the length of time they remain in good condition in the home will save everyone MILLIONS of pounds as well as reducing waste and water use substantially.

Said Asda fruit and veg spokesman Andy Jackson: “Food scientists around the world have spent decades searching for ways to preserve these vegetables – and yet we were standing on the answer all along.

“Muddy potatoes and carrots may not look as pretty as washed ones, but they taste just as good, and cost a lot less to buy .

“And for extra value, you can even used the mud to make a skin-reviving face mud pack.”

Asda’s unwashed white potatoes cost 73 pence for a 2.5kg bag, compared to £1.12 for their washed equivalent. Unwashed carrots will be introduced to store next week, ( Jan 16th) and are also expected to be significantly cheaper. The weight of each bag is adjusted so that customers pay just for the veg, NOT for the mud.

Sales of unwashed potatoes have jumped by 20 per cent since they were introduced last month.

Asda’s decision is a step back to the methods of potato production in Britain almost a century ago. Potatoes used to be stored for long periods in huge muddy pits in the ground, before being sold unwashed from Hessian sacks. However, modern atmosphere and temperature controlled storage warehouses made that process redundant.

In addition, customers in the 1960s began to demand both vegetables which looked spotlessly clean. Producers responded by routinely washing potatoes and carrots before sending them to the stores – a practice which still continues today. However Asda now believes that a major shift in public perception is under way.

Said Asda’s Andy Jackson: “Twenty years ago we couldn’t have sold muddy potatoes and carrots – no one would have wanted to buy them.

“Now, we’ve gone full circle. Customers today demand quality and value more than good looks – which means we can re-introduce old veg preserving methods.”

The huge beneficial effects of mud upon potatoes and carrots was discovered by Asda technologists during regular shelf life tests. Results show that unwashed potatoes and carrots can last up to three weeks longer than their washed equivalents.

Posted in Press Centre on 10 January 2007