In defense of ugly food and an end to food waste

In defense of ugly food and an end to food waste

It may not pretty, but it’s a common sense way to protect the environment. It’s “ugly” food — and if more retailers sold it (and more customers like us bought it), we could reduce wasted food and water and curb the use of pesticides that hurt wildlife.


Food waste is what’s really ugly — and environmentally harmful

Right now, 10 percent of the food produced in the U.S. is tossed out by retailers like Target before it can even be purchased. [1] But producing food that is ultimately thrown out consumes around one third of America’s freshwater. It needlessly wastes precious land and encourages the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer that can harm fish and other wildlife. [2]

Target is one of the biggest retailers in America. It’s also part of a declining number of retail chains still throwing out perfectly good produce because of its appearance. Whole Foods, Walmart and other major retailers have begun efforts to reduce their food waste. [3] [4]

That’s why Environmental Action has launched our new campaign to convince Target to stop throwing out perfectly edible and nutritious food just because of its appearance. Can you help us convince the mega-retailer to change its ways?

How you can help

  1. Sign the petition to Target.  More than 40,000 nature-minded Americans have already added their names — will you sign too?
  2. Help us run ads to put Target’s food waste in the spotlight. Just a few dollars can help us reach thousands of Target shoppers and employees.
  3. Get local.  Download a letter and deliver it to the manager of your local Target on your next visit.


[1] National Public Radio, Sept. 25, 2014.

[2] Natural Resource Defense Council, “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill,” 2012.

[3] National Public Radio, March 3, 2016.

[4] National Public Radio, July 20, 2016.