I never thought looking at pictures of veg could provoke such strong emotions in me, but leafing through Smyth’s pictures of unloved, mutant carrots feels more akin to browsing lonely puppies at Battersea Dogs Home than analysing defective produce. How could we be so cruel as to refuse to eat these poor, perfectly edible vegetables? Shame on us shallow consumers. Defective Carrots is a typology of all the ugly carrots that will never see the light of the supermarket shelves; a self-styled reference manual for all possible “optical deficiencies” that lead to carrots being screened off the production line by the highly judgmental Focus® “optical screening machine” used at Guy Poskitt’s carrot farm. It’s rare to hit on such a simple subject that manages to be funny, informative and visually fascinating all at the same time, and for that I’d certainly give Tim Smyth’s Defective Carrots a rosette for “Best In Show”.
Bemojake/ 70pp/ £30/ December 2013 ISBN: 978-0-9562470-4-9
Reviewed by Holly Lucas
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