Stop contributing to massive food waste in the US
What the Fork Are You Doing With Your Produce, Walmart and Whole Foods?
In 2013, a staggering 17.5 million households faced hunger. Part of the problem is the prohibitively high price of produce. Many low income American families simply can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet, we throw away nearly 26% of all produce before it even reaches the grocery store due mostly to cosmetic standards from large grocers that dictate exactly how fruits and veggies should look. If produce fails to make the grade for size, shape, or color, retailers deem it "ugly" and refuse to sell it in their stores. Billions of pounds of good, healthy produce goes uneaten because it’s not pretty!
But this food is perfectly edible. Culinary nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, author of What the Fork Are You Eating? and co-starter of this petition, confirms that the “uglies” are equally as nutritious as any produce you get in the store, and, in fact, smaller produce can actually have more taste!
I’m Jordan Figueiredo, a solid waste specialist, and founder of UglyFruitandVeg.org. Together with Stefanie Sacks, we are asking you to call on Whole Foods and Walmart to help stop massive food waste by agreeing to sell cosmetically “less than perfect” produce.
We want Walmart and Whole Foods to combat food waste by marketing ugly produce as they do traditional produce using a fun campaign like the French supermarket giant Intermarche did with its “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables Campaign.” Stores in Europe, Australia, and Canada have started selling not quite "perfect" produce, offering it at an average of 30% off, and it has increased store traffic and total sales. In the U.S. Raley's has also started a pilot selling ugly produce.
We are asking two of America’s largest retailers to do something simple, effective and good for the retailers’ and customers’ bottom line. This is truly low-hanging fruit in terms of its environmental and social benefits. One out of six Americans is food insecure, and more than four out of five is produce-deficient. With statistics like this, it is simply irresponsible to encourage waste of good, healthy and perfectly edible food.
Join the “ugly fruit and veg revolution” and let’s ask Walmart and Whole Foods to be part of the solution, not the problem. Tell them to add the “uglies” to their store aisles so you can save money, fight hunger and help the environment all in one. The solution might look ugly, but the result will be something beautiful.
- CEO of Whole Foods Market
I’m Jordan Figueiredo, founder of @UglyFruitandVeg and together with Stefanie Sacks we ask you to support us in asking Walmart and Whole Foods to sell cosmetically “less than perfect” produce in a fun public campaign in their U.S. stores.
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