GardenShare

GardenShare

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How consumer choices cause food waste

The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that, depending on the crop, anywhere from 1 to 30% of food grown by farmers doesn't get to the grocery store. And we eaters play a big role in that waste.  We've come to expect beautiful displays of cosmetically perfect fruits and vegetables. But nature doesn’t always produce perfection. There’s nothing wrong with yellow cauliflower: the yellow tint comes from sun exposure; it's crunchy and every bit as nutritious as white cauliflower. But it won’t sell. California farmers, retailers, and policy makers are taking steps to address the problem. Some producers, including Ocean Mist and HMC Farms, donate some less-than-perfect produce to California food banks. California offers tax credits to farmers who donate produce, but the food banks are lobbying for bigger deductions. And there are only six other states that give tax breaks to growers for donating food. Now  high-end grocery chain Raley's, which has more than 100 stores in California and Nevada, says it will launch a pilot program, "Real Good" produce, in 10 stores in mid-July that will permit consumers to buy imperfect produce at a discount.
Source: NPR, 6/17/15, Food Waste