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This Thing Now: @UglyFruitAndVeg on Instagram

Why "ugly" fruits and vegetables deserve a second chance
@UglyFruitAndVeg Instagram
Photo: Courtesy of @Uglyfruitandveg via @stefaniesacks

We're pretty obsessed with This Thing Now. Here's how to get it into your life.

Jordan Figueiredo is not a farmer.

He's a solid waste specialist living in Castro Valley, California. But in the way that some people play racquetball or take up knitting, Figueiredo spends his spare time working to cut down on mass food waste and make fruits and vegetables more accessible to millions of hungry households.

In February, he launched the @UglyFruitAndVeg Instagram account to promote his #WhatTheFork campaign. Together with his copilot, nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, he hopes to encourage large grocery stores to cut back on food waste by selling, rather than tossing, produce that wouldn't exactly win a beauty pageant. By following suit with large stores in Europe and Canada and offering the produce at a discounted price, it would be a win-win: increased sales for the markets and food on the table for consumers.

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So what's Figueiredo's favorite "ugly" vegetable? Carrots ("They're so funny and anthropomorphic and grow in the craziest of shapes!"), but he's got pics of everything on his feed, from dolphin-shaped mango plums to the most confusing pineapple you will ever see. At first, he was shooting all the photos himself, but now with a rapidly growing movement and more than 6,000 followers, he gets submissions and shout-outs from loyal vegetable lovers around the world to supplement his own farmers' market shots.

He's proving that, once again, it's what's on the inside that counts—like a Batman signal in a kiwi or a pepper that's happy to see you. Besides, nothing says "don't throw us out" quite like two carrots embracing.

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