Hy-Vee selling ‘ugly’ produce to cut down on food waste

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A new program is helping cut down on the amount of food that ends up in the landfill, and it could save you some money on your grocery bill.

In Hy-Vee grocery stores, you'll now find a display of "misfit produce." Each week, stores receive a shipment of fruits and vegetables that are oddly shaped, too small, or too large. Instead of pitching the product, stores sell the ugly produce at a roughly 30 percent discount.

Now, managers are trying to get shoppers on board with the program.

"'They see it like, okay, what's wrong with it?' And really, nothing is wrong with it. It is top-notch quality. You just mind find odd sized, odd shaped produce in there," said produce manager Ryan Lindner.

The goal is to help cut down on food waste. The United Nations estimates 20 to 40 percent of harvested produce is thrown out every year just because it doesn't meet sizing standards.

Lindner says the new program is a win-win for both farmers and shoppers.

"One of the main concerns of farmers out there is they have so much produce waste," said Lindner. "It's a great opportunity for us."

The types of misfit produce available will vary by week, but may include items like apples, oranges, lemons, limes, avocados and potatoes.

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