Whole Foods and startups see potential in ‘ugly foods’

Produce is supposed to be perfect. Giant watermelons ripen on the field but won’t make it to market—too big to fit in the fridge. The same fate befalls curvy cucumbers or apples and tomatoes that exceed the width of a burger bun. Recently European supermarkets have adopted the ugly foods movement by selling produce with superficial blemishes. However, most major American chains have so far refused to embrace the ugly foods. Whole Foods Market wants to change that. It says it will sell the “ugly” produce that would otherwise go to waste at a handful of its Northern California stores beginning in late April. Whole Foods is also collaborating with startups–such as Imperfect Produce and Hungry Harvest—that act as brokers and go-betweens, finding loving homes for the second-tier produce.

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Whole Foods and startups see potential in ‘ugly foods’

Produce is supposed to be perfect. Giant watermelons ripen on the field but won’t make it to market—too big to fit in the fridge. The same fate befalls curvy cucumbers or apples and tomatoes that exceed the width of a burger bun. Recently European supermarkets have adopted the ugly foods movement by selling produce with superficial blemishes. However, most major American chains have so far refused to embrace the ugly foods. Whole Foods Market wants to change that. It says it will sell the “ugly” produce that would otherwise go to waste at a handful of its Northern California stores beginning in late April. Whole Foods is also collaborating with startups–such as Imperfect Produce and Hungry Harvest—that act as brokers and go-betweens, finding loving homes for the second-tier produce.

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