Guess how much produce is thrown out because it's not pretty enough for us as consumers? A lot.

The old saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover." So why do we do it when it comes to food?

Have you ever noticed how nearly all the fruits and veggies you see in most grocery stores look kinda ... perfect? It turns out that not all produce grows into perfect, uniformly shaped foodstuffs. In fact, a good chunk of produce might be considered downright ugly.

But you know what's truly ugly? The huge amount of food that gets thrown out simply because grocery stores don't think it looks good enough for us to buy.


It doesn't seem fair. It's basically like the "pretty" fruit telling the uglies:

"Grocery-approved" said to the others. GIF from "Mean Girls."

And that's just mean.

Jordan Figueiredo wants us to give all food a chance with his @UglyFruitandVeg campaign.

He thinks the skin-deep standards that decide which fruits and vegetables make the cut at grocery stores just don't make sense. And he's right. Think about it: 30% to 40% of food is wasted (depending on whether you look at post-farmed or pre-farmed). One tomato packing house can fill dump trucks with 22,000 pounds of rejected tomatoes every 40 minutes. And a citrus-packer estimates that as much as 50% of the produce they handle is unmarketable but totally edible.

Estimates show that 1 in 7 Americans do not have reliable access to nutritious, affordable food. Meanwhile, we're throwing out sexy radishes?

Figueiredo thinks we can do better.

He wants us to stop using arbitrary standards to dictate what looks good enough to eat. That's why he's using Instagram and Twitter accounts to share submissions of rejected fruits and vegetables, amusingly referred to as "uglies." I'm sure it's meant as a term of endearment.

OOH LA LA DAIKON! #LegsForDays #WorkItVeg! Pic from http://t.co/KEOZP24uJl
A photo posted by The @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign (@uglyfruitandveg) on


I'M WEIRD. BUT IT'S OKAY by @jenyeepastry on Twitter #UglyIsWeird #LoveUglyFood #GloveBerry cc @fwscout
A photo posted by The @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign (@uglyfruitandveg) on
THE POTATOES ARE FULL OF LOVE @williamsonsfarm #AllWeNeedIsSpud
A photo posted by The @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign (@uglyfruitandveg) on






Let's be real. When it comes to nutrition, looks don't really matter — it's what's on the inside that counts. (Ya know, like with people?)

This concept is far from new. In 2013, a supermarket's Inglorious fruits and vegetables campaign in France proved so successful that the availability of uglies for purchase quickly shot up throughout Europe.

Agree that we shouldn't waste perfectly good food just because it doesn't look "pretty" enough? You can take action.

Figueiredo teamed up with culinary nutritionist Stefanie Sacks to ask Walmart and Whole Foods to start selling these one-of-a-kind fruits and vegetables. Check out their petition and sign if you feel so inclined.

Reducing food losses by just 15% would provide enough food to feed an additional 25 million Americans every year. Now that's something beautiful.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via Haley McGuire / TikTok

About a quarter of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nonverbal, and while that number seems high, there's been sharp decline from a generation ago when the number was closer to half.

This positive shift is due to an increase in studies on ASD which have resulted in more effective therapeutic strategies.

Children with ASD are often nonverbal, but many go onto acquire language skills. Up to 70% of nonverbal children become fluent speakers or can use simple phrases.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

Keep Reading Show less

Strangers helping out strangers is always a heartwarming thing. But when lots and lots of strangers come together to help one individual who needs and deserves a little hand up, we get a much-needed flood of warm, gushy best-of-humanity feelings.

Such is the case of an 89-year-old pizza delivery man, Derlin Newey, who happened to win the hearts of the Valdez family after he delivered them a pizza and struck up a conversation. Newey had no idea his friendly demeanor and obviously stellar work ethic would soon make him a TikTok star, nor did he expect an outpouring of donations from perfect strangers that relieve some of his burden.

Carlos Valdez shared the initial pizza delivery video, taken through the family's Nest doorbell, on TikTok about a week ago. "Hello, are you looking for some pizza?" Newey says when they answer the door, then chats with them for a while.


Keep Reading Show less