U.S. – A Castro Valley, California man witnessed what he believes is the waste of perfectly nutritious food and has taken action. Jordan Figueiredo, a solid waste specialist realized that not visually pleasing produce is simply being dumped while many American families go without produce due to the high costs.
Figueiredo founded UglyFruitandVeg.org, where he explains what “ugly fruit” consists of. It is also explained that nearly 26% of the fruit is disposed of because it is not aesthetically pleasing to retailers. “Ugly fruit” does not include bruised, wrinkled or partially inedible fruit but perfectly fresh fruit that did not meet the store’s cosmetic requirements.
In September 2015, Figueiredo reached out to Whole Foods Market petitioning for change with over 111,000 supporters who signed the change.org campaign. Now Figueiredo is going a step further reaching out to the retail giant Walmart to combat the food waste. Figueiredo believes that the United States can follow the lead of other countries including Austrailia and Canada, where they sell imperfect fruit for around 30% off the average retail price. Figueiredo said that since this change, the retailers have seen an overall increase in store traffic and sales.
This change of lower-priced produce can also help bring fresh and healthy produce to households that normally struggle to put food on their tables. Figueiredo urges Walmart to make positive the change in order to help many of their struggling customers as well as their publicly acknowledged low wage employees. He said that with one out of six Americans being food insecure and more than four out of five are produce deficient, “ it is simply irresponsible to encourage waste of good, healthy and perfectly edible food.”
Walmart was sent the letter in October 2015, Figueiredo needs just over 7,000 more signatures on his Change.org campaign in order to meet his goal of 150,000 signatures.
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