British Food Retailer Asda is Getting on the Ugly Vegetable Bandwagon

© Kay Chun
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The company has started selling "wonky veg boxes" to help reduce food waste. 

We've written before about the importance of embracing weird-looking produce: Food waste is a huge problem in this country (and indeed, around the world), and American grocers throw out 26 percent of fruits and vegetables every year simply because they're deemed too small, or big, or too "ugly." But increasingly, anti-waste advocates are pushing grocery stores to start selling all that funky-looking food that so often gets thrown out. Asda, a British food retailer, is the latest company to get on board: It recently announced a plan to sell "wonky" vegetable boxes in 128 UK grocery stores. (The company already had a "wonky veg range," and these boxes—which retail for cheaper than other produce—are an extension of that program.)

"We’re excited to launch a unique and exclusive Wonky Vegetable box that is jam-packed with ugly winter veg that not only saves shoppers money but helps farmers get more of their crop onto our shelves," Ian Harrison, Asda's technical produce director, said in a press release posted on the company's website. “However, this range only solves one part of the food waste puzzle. The work we continue to do with our growers to ensure as much of their crop is sold as possible, by flexing specifications, is the golden ticket for farmers."

It's a great step in the right direction. Next up, how about some U.S. retailers follow suit?

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