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Do You Embrace Ugly Produce?

Especially in developed nations like the United States, food waste might not seem like much of an issue. But slowly and surely it's becoming a problem. American throw away enough produce to fill several skyscrapers worth of space. In one study, it was found that over 40% of produce grown in the United States is discarded, meaning it never reaches the tables of restaurants and homes. While this statistic doesn't necessarily mean that people are going hungry here in the U.S., it doesn raise questions about the amount of waste retailers and growers are generating.

In California, Whole Foods has entered into a partnership with a grower to offer so-called "ugly" produce in its stores. The ugly produce is advertised as part of a sustainable lifestyle. By focusing on the nutritional aspects of ugly produce, both growers and retailers are trying to elimate the massive amounts of waste generated because produce doesn't resemble the idealized versions on TV and in movies.

It's still too early to tell if the initiative will gain much traction with consumers and retailers alike, but any and all efforts to change the way produce goes from farm to table is bound to have tangible effects on the industry.