Walmart Pilots “Ugly” Produce Program

Big-box store shoppers in Florida and Texas can score bargains while reducing food waste.


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This week, Walmart—the United States’ largest grocery chain—began selling bags of “ugly” apples at 300 of its Florida stores at discount prices. The move comes after the big-box behemoth found success with a similar model in Texas with weather-damaged potatoes called “Spuglies,” which they’ve been selling in hundreds of stores since April. The company plans to expand such programs to more states if the weather-dented produce sells well, says Walmart spokesperson John Forrest Ales. With 4,000 stores nationwide, Walmart could lead the industry in addressing food waste, which contributes to hunger and climate change. “We’ve typically found that growers reported [cosmetic-related] losses ranging up to 20 percent of production in a given year,” says JoAnne Berkenkamp of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “but it could be higher in years of bad weather.” Meanwhile, research strongly suggesting that “homely” produce tastes the same as its more conventionally attractive counterparts, and that it might be even more nutritious.

Photo courtesy of @UglyFruitAndVeg

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