Ugly but Tasty
April 15, 2016
In U.S. supermarkets, perfectly shaped fruits and vegetables line shelves. But not all the produce grown in the U.S. looks like what is being sold. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than a quarter of all fresh produce never makes it to stores. Crooked and off-color fruits and vegetables are thrown away. To avoid food waste, a new movement is urging people to buy and eat “ugly” foods.
“No one is perfect so why should we expect fruits and vegetables to be perfect?” Jordan Figueiredo told TFK. He runs a campaign that aims to change the way people view produce. “Ugly produce may be different looking, but it is perfectly fresh and tasty,” he says.
Stores Get On Board
Recently, the food chain Giant Eagle started selling imperfect foods. It calls the items “produce with personality.” Whole Foods also said it would start carrying ugly produce in some stores. It is working with Imperfect Produce, a California company that sells ugly produce. Whole Foods plans to sell the imperfect items at lower prices than its other produce.
“We have found that people care about food waste, and they are open-minded about eating foods that look a little wonky,” says Ben Simon, head of Imperfect Produce. Figueiredo posts funny photos of ugly produce on social media. He hopes more stores will carry these items. “We are throwing so much good food away,” he says. “People understand how important this is.”