Free meals of nutritionally sound ‘ugly food’ offered at ASU event to highlight food waste

TEMPE – Discolored, irregularly shaped and unusually sized fruit, vegetables and meat rarely make it to U.S. grocery stores. “Ugly food” is often left in the field to rot or thrown away before it can be sold to consumers.

“There is nothing wrong with” ugly food, said Michelle Schwartz a spokeswoman for the Arizona State University School of Sustainability. “It’s not unhealthy or unsanitary, it’s just not pretty.”

Throwing away unattractive food adds to the third of the food in the world going to waste, according to the ASU sustainability school. The school is conducting a free Rescued Food Feast, giving away meals made from ugly food, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Schwartz said.

The event, from noon to 5:45 p.m. Thursday on the Tempe campus, will feature a farmer’s market, live band and several speakers, including ASU President Michael Crow. Canned food donations to St. Mary’s Food Bank are requested, Schwartz said.

The free event is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Food will be available to the first 500 people from noon to 1:30 p.m.