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Raley's Launches Program Giving Imperfect Produce Its Day In The Sun

By Kelly Ryan

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Raley's has launched a new campaign selling imperfect produce at a low price aimed at reducing the amount of food that ends up in landfills.

The not-so-pretty fruit comes in different sizes, some with scarred skin or funny shapes. To some shoppers, the look of a funky bell pepper just doesn't matter.

"That's going to turn into purée roasted pepper over some salmon tonight," said shopper Dave Jurisich.

Call it unattractive, but that aesthetically-challenged produce has an attractive price—these black perfect plums are $2.99 a pound but the imperfect ones, just 99 cents a pound.

The program also aims to stop food waste by purchasing the produce that's often tossed out by growers when it doesn't make the grade.

"We waste about 40 percent of the food we grow in America," said Meg Burritt, Raley's director of wellness and sustainability.

With the rise in farmers markets across the country, many people see that not all produce fresh from the ground is perfect. Raley's believe it's those customers who will make this program a success.

The pilot program is in 10 Raley's stores, including its Marconi Avenue location. If successful in the next three months, more stores will be seeing imperfect fruit sitting proudly next to the near-perfect stuff.

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