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Fighting Food Waste

December 17, 2014

THE INGLORIOUS FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: FIGHTING FOOD WASTE

From NPR’s The Salt blog: In Europe, Ugly Sells in the Produce Aisle

“In Europe, the ugly ducklings of the produce aisle are increasingly admired for their inner swans.

Call it the return of unsightly fruit.

Retailers (at least in Europe and the U.S.) by default now cater to the perfectionist shopper who prefers only the plump, round tomato or the unblemished apple to grace the fruit bowl. But many fruits and vegetables, while edible and nutritious, don’t measure up.

That means farmers end up tossing out a huge amount of food that fails to meet retailers’ cosmetic standards — in some cases, as much as 20 to 40 percent of fresh produce gets wasted, according to estimates from the United Nations Environment Program.

But the European Union declared 2014 to be the Year Against Food Waste. And earlier this year, French retailer Intermarche, the country’s third-largest supermarket, took that initiative viral, launching a cheeky "inglorious fruits and vegetables” campaign to get consumers to see the beauty of ugly produce. Continue

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