Friday, July 22, 2016

Walmart begins selling damaged apples at Florida stores, says it wants to cut food waste

Walmart, the largest grocery store chain in the U.S. with more than 4,000 stores, this week began a pilot program selling imperfect apples, so-called "ugly fruit," at 300 stores in Florida, in what says is an effort to cut food waste.

"Ugly fruits and vegetables are a fact of life on the farm," Maria Godoy reports for NPR. "Sometimes the dents and scars are so minor that you wouldn't think twice about buying them. They're perfectly edible, delicious and just as nutritious as their unmarred brethren—or perhaps even more so. But their cosmetic challenges (think hail-pocked apples or curvy leeks) have traditionally kept them out of retail stores."

Imperfect produce often ends up in landfills, Godoy writes. Statistics are not kept on how much is thrown out, but JoAnne Berkenkamp, a senior advocate for food and agriculture at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said about 20 percent of production is thrown out each year. Walmart, which calls the apples "I'm perfect," has already been selling imperfect potatoes, called "Spuglies," in Texas. (Read more)

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