Get ready to see more ugly produce when you shop at Kroger. Coming in early 2019, a new label called Peculiar Picks is making its way to the popular grocery store. The initiative will label produce that may not otherwise sell because of its appearance. The store is already tackling plastic bag waste, by eliminating all single-use plastic by 2025, so eliminating food waste is another step in the direction toward a more mindful shopping experience.
Waste not, want not. That’s just one of the things we learned from Grandma after all. Learn her other cooking secrets here.
What Is Ugly Produce?
Ugly produce is perfectly safe to eat, it just doesn’t have that perfect appearance that we’re used to seeing at the supermarket. While these fruits and veggies might be too big or too small, misshapen or slightly off in color, they are still perfectly fine to consume and cook with, and would otherwise go unsold in stores.
This program is combating food waste, which accounts for 6 million pounds of wasted produce annually. Kroger hopes to shift the conversation away from the outer appearance of food, and more to what you can create with fruits and veggies that might not be the prettiest in the store.
You can use these cosmetically imperfect produce items any way you would cook with or snack on regular produce, the possibilities are endless with recipes and for snacking.
Hopping on the Bandwagon
Kroger isn’t the only grocer selling flawed fruits and veggies, the store is joining a group of fellow grocery chains that are tackling food waste. Whole Foods, Walmart and Meijer have all been experimenting with similar programs as well since 2016.
A San Francisco-based company, Imperfect Produce, is a produce-delivery company that services much of the west coast with weekly deliveries of produce that doesn’t meet cosmetic standards and has saved 30 million pounds of food so far.
Looking to reduce food waste in your own home? You can reduce your footprint with these ideas:
- Compost at home to turn your scraps into soil
- Repurpose leftovers in new ways
- Being mindful of how long your produce lasts so you can gobble it up before it spoils.