Can Ugly Produce Reduce Waste?

Can ugly sell? The answer is yes! Intermarché, a supermarket chain in Europe, started selling ‘ugly fruits’ at a discounted price just last year (thirty percent off). Are you willing to buy a fruit that wasn't appealing to the eyes for a discounted price?

This campaign has begun to be so widespread that in just one month, 21 million people have caught on to this new idea of buying these ‘inglorious’ cheaper than regular pricing. Approximately 300 million tons of food is wasted annually. Meanwhile, 1.2 tons of waste have been saved in the first two days of the first supermarket promoting the selling of ugly produce.

Don’t get discouraged by the appearance of the fruit, the inside is all the same as the more other appealing fruits and vegetables. In fact, Intermarché wanted consumers to know there is no difference (except for the looks) by introducing fruits and soups created by the company, using the ‘inglorious’ fruits and vegetables.

The ultimate goal of selling the ugly fruits and vegetables is to reduce waste. Now instead of farmers throwing away the produce that doesn't look attractive to the eyes, they now can save the 20-40 percent that they would normally toss, according to United Nations Environment Program. So, if they were available to you in the States, would you buy an ugly fruit for a discounted price?



The author of this post, Rashidah is a 2014 Cornell graduate in Media Communication who has a strong interest in food ethics and always strive to integrate healthier practices in her life.  She is a mentor at Unlocking Futures  where she helps transforming the lives of disadvantaged youth.