'Ugly' fruits and vegetables will get a chance to be sold
Depending on the source, anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of produce in America ends up wasted. One reason why so many fruit and vegetables are thrown out is because they do not conform to what retailers and consumers believe fresh food should look like. Tomatoes too wide for a hamburger bun, carrots that look like something out of an anatomy textbook, and cucumbers that dare to be curved almost never make the shelves at grocery chains from Walmart to Whole Foods.
But Whole Foods, the supermarket that has arguably made organic and socially-conscious foods mainstream, announced that it will start selling “ugly” fruits and vegetables. As mentioned in a bevy of news sources from USA Today to Fortune, the Austin-based retailer will start selling these misshaped beauties at a discount. Imperfect Produce, a Bay Area startup that delivers oddly-shaped fruits and veggies at a discount in the Oakland and Berkeley areas, will partner with Whole Foods on this new marketing tactic.
Taking credit for this shift is Jordan Figueiredo, an advocate for waste diversion and founder of UglyFruitandVeg.org. After he launched a petition on Change.org last fall and paired it with a social media campaign, Figueiredo claimed a meeting with Whole Foods executives led to this change.
For Imperfect Produce, this agreement with Whole Foods is a sweet victory in its quest to halt the growing problem of food waste. Last year the company launched a partnership with the Northern California grocer Raley’s, but lukewarm consumer interest caused that campaign to sputter and eventually end.
Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Triple Pundit.
Malformed tomatoes image via Shutterstock.