How a 'wonky' version of Mr. Potato Head is raising awareness for food waste.

Picture this. You're at a grocery store and there are only two tomatoes left.

One of them is perfect. It's shiny and totally round. It has a perfect little green stem coming out the top. It looks like it belongs in a Caravaggio painting.

The other one is ... well ... weird. It doesn't have that perfectly round shape you love, and it doesn't look quite as shiny. Maybe it has a little crack on one side. You know it's perfectly fine to eat, but ... you buy the other one. The "perfect" one.


I'll admit those are some sexy tomatoes. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

We've all done it. But have you ever wondered what will happen to that "ugly" tomato you leave behind?

In all likelihood, it will be thrown out.

In the U.S. alone, around 6 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables go unharvested or unsold.

Because of strict aesthetic standards placed on food manufacturers, as well as consumer behavior in the grocery store, "ugly" fruits and vegetables barely have a chance. They're either cast aside as soon as they come out of the ground, or left behind to be discarded.

Photo by Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images.

That is why toy maker Hasbro decided to pull off a fun PR stunt for ugly foods, which involved a familiar face.

Specifically, the face of a familiar potato.

Photo via Geri Cleveland/Pixabay.

Hasbro decided to make it a little more "wonky."

That's right. Mr. Potato Head has gotten a makeover (or maybe the opposite of a makeover?) to raise awareness about food waste.

Toymaker Hasbro created this special item, which is for sale exclusively on eBay until July 3. And, as of this writing, it is sitting at 235 pounds (about $315), with over 40 bids. Proceeds from the sale of the wonky Mr. Potato Head will go to FareShare, a U.K.-based organization tackling food waste.

"We are very grateful that the proceeds from this unique Wonky Mr Potato Head auction will enable us to help those charities feed more people, and we’d encourage people to bid big," said Daniel Nicholls, FareShare's corporate development officer. "Every £1 we raise will mean we can provide enough food to make four meals for vulnerable and hungry men, women and children here in the U.K.”

Changing the face of a toy might seem like a silly thing to do, but it makes you think.

After all, he's not even that silly looking. I've seen a lot of potatoes that look just like that. I mean, you know, besides the bowler hat, eyes, and mustache.

Maybe next time you're at the grocery store, and you're faced with the choice of an "ugly" vegetable and a "perfect" one — you'll give the ugly one a chance.

Let's face it. Beauty standards are dumb and what matters is on the inside.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.