Trader Joe's: it's time to get ugly (produce)
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It's time that we move past our obsession with cosmetic ideals and focus on what is good for our bodies, good for society, and good for our planet. When it comes to fresh produce, aesthetic requirements lead growers to discard 20-40% of their crop. Food loss and waste is a major problem in the U.S. and abroad and contributes to food insecurity and environmental degradation.
Over the past few years, large grocers have begun to experiment with 'ugly' produce, but this practice has yet to become mainstream. The Huffington Post heralded 2016 as “a year to smile for ugly produce.” In 2017, let's turn that smile into action! Let's encourage Trader Joe's to participate in a movement that de-prioritizes dated paradigms.
Here are some facts:
o Ugly produce is every bit as nutritious as cosmetically perfect produce
o Billions of pounds of produce are discarded each year because they do not meet grocers cosmetic standards
o FAO estimates that nearly 800 million people suffer from hunger worldwide (including 42 million food insecure in the United States, U.S. EPA)
o Producing food destined for the landfill results in wasted (valuable) resources including land, water, fuel, seed, fertilizer, among others
o Decomposing food waste results in needless methane emissions into the atmosphere that contributes to climate change
Our generation faces many complex challenges that requires innovation, extraordinary resources, societal collaboration, and governmental compromise. Widespread food waste and loss is a symptom of some of those challenges. Wasting cosmetically inferior produce compounds the problem. Let's stop rejecting produce on account of how it looks.
Sign this petition to urge Trader Joe’s to begin to carry ugly produce in all of their stores.
Trader Joe's: your customers value healthy options, reasonable prices, and a forward-thinking ethos. Give your loyal customers an opportunity to buy ugly produce and enhance your standing as a corporate leader in social and environmental sustainability. Your customers will reward you for it.
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