Get Misfit Produce at a Discount Price
RedHat Co-op partnered with Calgary Safeway’s to sell produce that isn’t all that pretty for 30 per cent less
Picture a tomato, and you’ll think of something red, round and perfectly formed, no doubt. But, to borrow a line from Michael Pollan, that’s just the idea of a tomato. The actual fruit can grow with any number of weird variations to its shape and colour. Thanks to our preference for perfect-looking produce about 10 pounds of food per Canadian is thrown away at the farm/greenhouse level every year. Growers know if the public won’t buy odd-looking fruits and vegetables, the stores won’t either so they don’t bother sending it.
It is for the benefit of these veggies that RedHat Co-operative has launched The Misfits: Rise of the Rejects!, which sells these seemingly less desirable vegetables at a discount at local grocery stores.
RedHat is a co-op with 50 local growers situated on 149 acres in the Redcliff/Medicine Hat area. Last Spring, Mike Meinhardt of RedHat saw a video about a French grocery retailer’s Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables program, which sought to reduce waste by selling their weird looking produce at a 30 per cent discount. “I saw it on Facebook posted by a friend that is a chef in Canmore,” says Meinhardt, who felt there was potential for a similar project in Alberta. “I then started speaking with grocery stores and growers to see if there was an opportunity for us.”
It turned out there were stores interested in the project. Three Calgary Safeway locations have agreed to a trial run, including Saddletowne, Southcentre and Glamorgan. The Airdrie Safeway is also participating.
The stores will sell “misfit” produce, including English cucumbers, mini cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, at a 30 per cent discount starting on October 24 and continuing for six weeks until the local growing season ends.