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Getting Ugly Produce onto Hungry People’s Plates

Posted: 09.03.2016 no comments

 

Every fall, farmers in Washington throw away a sizable portion of the apples they grow. In 2015, thanks to the West Coast port slowdown and a lack of refrigeration, farmers in the state dumped an estimated $100 million worth of the fruit (or 143,000 bushels) in fields where they were left to rot, causing the nearby town to smell like rancid fruit for days. David Bobanick, Executive Director of the Washington-based hunger organizationRotary First Harvest, finds the apple dumps alarming. And although this year was an extreme example, it’s not unusual for fresh produce to go to waste due to a lack of infrastructure. In fact, approximately 23 percent of all fruits and vegetables are wasted before they even reach grocery stores. Meanwhile, 46.5 million Americans struggle to get enough healthy food.

 

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