CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) — A sanitation worker who was moved by the amount of perfectly good – but ugly-looking – fruits and vegetables getting thrown away has started a movement to get food stores to embrace the sale of the misshapen produce.

36-year-old Jordan Figueiredo of Castro Valley has launched an online petition to challenge Walmart and Whole Foods to not only carry the ugly produce, but to launch a campaign to promote its sale.

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Figueiredo’s petition calls on the stores to sell the produce at 30 to 50 percent discount, noting that many low-income families can’t afford fruits and vegetables.

From the online petition:

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Yet, we throw away nearly 26% of all produce before it even reaches the grocery store due mostly to cosmetic standards from large grocers that dictate exactly how fruits and veggies should look. If produce fails to make the grade for size, shape, or color, retailers deem it “ugly” and refuse to sell it in their stores. Billions of pounds of good, healthy produce goes uneaten because it’s not pretty!

 

Stores in Europe, Australia and Canada offer imperfect produce at a similar discount, increasing store traffic and sales, according to the petition.

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Co-sponsoring the petition is nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, author of What the Fork Are You Eating?, who says uglier, smaller produce is not only equally nutritious, but can often have more taste.