Waste not: Ugly fruits and veggies now available at some B.C. grocery stores

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Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Just because a piece of fruit or veggie is a little ugly doesn’t mean it’s not edible, or even delicious. As a way to cut down on waste from the farm to the produce section and your home kitchen, Loblaw’s no name brand is expanding their “Naturally Imperfect” produce offerings to Western Canada.

Available at select stores, the program is rolling out in B.C. and Alberta with apples, peppers, and cucumbers whose true beauty is more than “skin deep.” Consumers will find prices for these items are up to 30% less than the “prettier” traditional options in the same store.

Previously, produce that qualifies as “naturally imperfect” would be used for juices, sauces or soups, or even not harvested to begin with. But by giving these fruits and veggies a platform to be sold, Loblaw is able to help farmers cut down on waste, too. Loblaws says they are looking to expand their no name Naturally Imperfect program to work with more farmers and to include more fruits and veggies.

The “ugly” fruit and veggie movement has roots in France, thanks to supermarket chain Intermarché rolling out an imperfect produce offering in 2014. France took things to the next level the following year by mandating stores distribute unsold food to charitable organizations in an effort to curb waste. Loblaws introduced their “Naturally Imperfect” line in Ontario stores in 2015.

Shoppers who don’t mind their apples and peppers on the less-than-perfect side will find no name Naturally Imperfect produce at these Vancouver-area stores:

Vancouver/North Vancouver

Real Canadian Superstore

  • 3185 Grandview Highway
  • 350 SE Marine Drive
  • 333 Seymour Boulevard

No Frills

  • 1688 West 4th Avenue
  • 4508 Fraser Street
  • 1460 Hastings Street East
  • 130 2083 Alma Street
  • 1030 Denman Street
  • 310 West Broadway

Your Independent Grocer

  • 1255 Davie Street
  • 7190 Kerr Street

Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey & Langley

Real Canadian Superstore

  • #1105 4700 Kingsway
  • 4651 No.3 Road
  • 7550 King George Boulevard
  • 14650 104th Avenue
  • 8195 120th Street
  • 1301 Lougheed Highway

Wholesale Club

  • 5335 Kingsway

No Frills

  • 12852 96th Avenue
  • 17710 56th Avenue
  • 15355 Fraser Highway
  • 5501 204th Street

Your Independent Grocer

  • 18765 Fraser Highway
  • 20678 Willoughby Centre Drive

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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