Efforts to decrease food waste have led the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to launch a campaign calling on ways to utilize and sell ugly fruits and vegetables.
Supermarkets often reject fruits and vegetables solely for cosmetic reasons, leading to excessive amounts of wasted food, according to Tristam Stuart, a food waste writer and campaigner. FoodNavigator reports Stuart saying, “The waste of perfectly edible ‘ugly’ vegetables is endemic in our food production systems and symbolises our negligence” But, he adds, “it is also a huge opportunity: By persuading supermarkets to change their standards, and by developing processing and other ways of marketing this produce, we can help to increase on-farm incomes and food availability where it is needed most.”
The UN estimates that at least one-third of the world’s food ends up wasted at some point along the supply chain. And particularly in the developed world, manufacturers and retailers that employ inefficient practices are largely to blame for the waste. As much as 250 pounds of food is waster per person per year throughout Europe and the U.S.