Would you buy produce with bumps and bruises?

Posted at 3:48 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 16:50:46-05

DENVER, Colo. -- You may not give ugly produce much thought, but major grocery chains do.

For years, they have kept imperfect fruits and vegetables off store shelves. But now, Whole Foods and Giant Eagle are bringing it back.

"People will not buy it. We're spoiled. Americans are spoiled," said Lorraine Marez, a Whole Foods customer. "We like everything perfect."

Starting next month, a handful of Whole Foods in northern California are teaming up with 'Imperfect Produce' to cut back on food waste.

Americans throw out 133 billion pounds of food every year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. An estimated 10 percent of wasted food comes from grocery stores.

There's even a social media push to make shoppers more conscious about the problem. The 'Ugly Fruit and Veg' Instagram account has more than 24,000 followers, hinting there could be a market for imperfect produce.

"It's okay with me if it's not perfect, as long as it still looks good," said Patsi Pohle, a shopper who checks produce for bruises.

It remains to be seen if stores can cash in on the bumps and bruises, or if ugly produce is just another passing fad.

Giant Eagle has started selling imperfect produce at reduced prices in more than 400 stores nationwide.