Whole Foods announced last week that it will start selling ‘ugly produce’ (vegetables and fruit that do not conform to the company’s aesthetic standards) in select stores beginning in April. They are partnering with Imperfect Produce, a company launched last summer that sells bruised, blemished, or misshapen fruits and vegetables to food retailers at a discounted rate, to connect this produce to consumers. Over the next three to five years, Whole Foods hopes to expand this pilot to locations across the country.
A significant portion of food waste in the US is a result of retailers rejecting produce that does not meet strict aesthetic standards. Programs like this pilot at Whole Foods could help prevent this ‘ugly produce’ from being wasted.
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