'Ugly food' petition calls on grocery stores to stock less-than-perfect produce

Group says wasted produce filling up landfills
Posted at 9:20 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 23:20:02-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- We teach our kids not to judge a book by its cover, but that is exactly what some grocers do. You’ve all been down the produce aisle and noticed the perfectly rounded piles of apples, oranges, potatoes and more.           

Now, there’s a new petition circulating on calling on Walmart and other grocers to offer "ugly produce" at discount prices.

At the Food Bank for Larimer County, chief operating officer Chuck Gill is already carrying produce that isn’t the cream of the crop.

"It's just ugly," said Gill.

But he points out, there is nothing wrong with the produce, other than the way it looks.

“It’s perfectly edible,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with this food."

“What they have here is not second rate,” said Mike Bliss, who relies on the food bank about three times a month to get by.

Melissa Lycan with Grant Farms north of Fort Collins said this all starts on the farm.

"We've created kind of an expectation,” said Lycan.

Lycan said grocery stores have created an illusion of perfection, when in reality, about 40-percent of what's grown isn't perfect.

"We give that to the pigs which helps to mitigate a lot of our food costs,” Lycan said.

The food waste from Grant Farms is about 5 to 10 percent.

“There's a lot of people who need this stuff," said Bliss. “Who could benefit from all that waste.”

Food waste reduction organization ReFED said uneaten food emits greenhouse gases and takes up about one-fifth of all landfill space nationwide.


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