After a year of negotiations, food waste activist Jordan Figueiredo and his supporters convinced Walmart to join selected Whole Food Stores to begin selling imperfect produce at a discount. Currently, Whole Foods sells imperfect produce in eleven stores across California. Walmart will initially begin its sale of ugly food in Florida and Texas.
The international movement to sell ugly food to minimize food waste began in France. The effort attained immediate success and garnered international attention.
Food waste is not only a problem in France and America, but around the world. In America the standard for the appearance of fruits and vegetables are very strict so that produce sold in grocery stores have a standard appearance. Owed to these standards, grocery stores in the United States will not accept produce from farmers unless it aligns with those standards of appearance. As a result, a lot of good produce rots in fields and warehouses—almost half of all food in America is sent to landfills.
Food waste also impacts the environment. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization determined for example, if the global emissions associated with food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
As the food waste initiative expands, consumers are encouraged to support the effort to eliminate food waste and reduce emissions—buy ugly food.