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Global food waste is hardly breaking news. A recent World Bank report found that the world loses or wastes 25 to 33 percent of all food produced for consumption. Developed countries see exceptionally high rates, in some cases wasting as much as 1,520 calories per person, per day, and 250 pounds of food per year. Food waste costs the global economy $750 billion per year, including $165 billion in the United States alone.
In the U.S., 25 percent of food loss is due to consumer habits. We’ve provided tips to reducing food waste in the past, from preplanning meals to composting. We also pointed out that many “ugly” fruits and veggies are still perfectly delicious in juices, smoothies, or frozen chunks. Now, it turns out that we’re not the only ones extolling the virtues of less-than-pretty produce!
A group of students in Germany have found a creative new way to combat food waste: promoting “ugly fruits.” The group notes that German households waste 30,000 tons of food each day, calling this an “important issue in today’s society.” They also point out that farmers must toss out up to 40 percent of their harvest because the fruits and vegetables do not meet strict cosmetic standards.
The team proposes the creation of an Ugly Fruits grocery store chain. The stores will sell produce with minor imperfections — the products currently being discarded by farmers. Ugly Fruits has a brilliant (and brilliantly colorful) marketing campaign currently in the works. Its first major promotional video has already gone viral on Upworthy, despite being entirely in German! Luckily, the unconventional veggies and fruits in the video speak for themselves.
If you do know a bit of German, you’ll definitely want to check out the Ugly Fruits website. If not, don’t worry; they’ve subtitled this introductory video in English for us all to enjoy! But first, check out “The sound of ugly fruits!” below.
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