Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford is holding an online launch for her new book, Ugly Food, on April 14. (Photo courtesy Amber Stone)

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford is holding an online launch for her new book, Ugly Food, on April 14. (Photo courtesy Amber Stone)

Nanaimo author sympathizes with misshapen produce in new children’s book

Lindsay Ford covers food waste, rejection and perfectionism in ‘Ugly Food’

Lindsay Ford’s latest book examines issues of food waste, environmentalism and self-esteem, all through the eyes of unwanted produce.

The Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator said when she goes to the grocery store she feels for the imperfect fruits and vegetables that go unclaimed in favour of their picture-perfect counterparts.

“You just see the pile of perfect apples and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, fabulous, these are perfect apples,’ and then you see the banged-up ones and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, that’s no good,’” Ford said. “That’s commonly what you see … day-to-day or I personally experience, anyway. You don’t go for the one that’s slightly different looking.”

Ford’s new book Ugly Food is about produce “looking for love” and asks “if they had a voice, what would they say?” The book follows the misshapen food’s journey and looks at the decisions that are made when its blemishes are noticed and what those imperfections mean for its future and ultimate destination.

Due to COVID-19 precautions keeping people indoors, Ford is holding a virtual book launch and reading for Ugly Food on her Facebook page on April 14. The pandemic has also prompted a separate project designing book covers parodying The Berenstain Bears children’s book series. Titles include The Quarantine Bears Learn About Hoarding and The Quarantine Bears Put Hearts in Windows.

Ugly Food is the fourth installment of Ford’s Awkward and Awesome series, which tackles “hot button topics” while celebrating weirdness.

“Not only are there issues of food waste and environmentalism – higher levels of conversation there – it’s just conversations with food, kids learning about food [and] where it comes from,” Ford said. “Just because it looks a bit different doesn’t mean it tastes any different. It’s just as good for you as anything else.”

Ford said it’s important to discuss issues around perfectionism and rejection with children and explain that they’re not alone in experiencing those feelings. She said, like fruit, “we have bumps and bruises … no one’s perfect.”

“Kids if anything need to build up confidence and the only way you do that is by working on being rejected. And we’re all going to be rejected numerous times in our lives,” she said, later adding that she’s had to overcome her own issues with perfectionism.

“If I were still struggling along with my perfection, I would never have finished the book,” she said.

WHAT’S ON … Ugly Food online book launch on Tuesday, April 14 at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sport utility vehicle and a Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools work van crashed on Bowen Road near the intersection with Caspers Way this afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Drivers taken to hospital after head-on crash on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

Crash happened near Caspers Way intersection Friday afternoon

École North Oyster. (Black Press file)
With more student drop-offs during pandemic, SD68 examines safety outside North Oyster school

Fewer school bus trips and more cars accentuating traffic concerns, say school district staff

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

(File photo)
RCMP warn of counterfeit bill use in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Police have received four calls in November regarding bogus bills

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Nanaimo ballerina Jillian Vanstone is giving a hometown performance at the Port Theatre on Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy Karolina Kuras)
National Ballet of Canada principal dancer returns for a hometown performance

Nanaimo’s Jillian Vanstone celebrates a favourite choreographer at the Port Theatre

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Freighter anchored off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
MP to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MacGregor’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Lake Cowichan’s Oliver Finlayson, second from left, and his family — including grandma Marnie Mattice, sister Avery, mom Amie Mattice and dad Blair Finlayson — were all smiles on Nov. 16 when their pool arrived, thanks to lots of fundraising and the generosity of the Cowichan Lake community. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Lake community comes together to help family get vital pool

Oliver Finlayson, 9, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hydrotherapy is a big help

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read