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.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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