Today’s show is sort of St. Patrick’s Day related, in that we’re talking about greens. (Just trust me on this.)

A big part of the problem with food waste is that people typically refuse to buy certain fruits and vegetables because of the way they look.

Misshapen or unusual looking produce may end up going bad on the shelf at the store.

But new research finds that stores can get shoppers to buy those items – if they’re branded as “ugly.”


The study from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business asked people about their perceptions of fruits and vegetables that don’t look the way we expect them to.

People not only see less value in those foods compared to the traditional-looking ones, they actually expect them to be less tasty and have less nutritional value.

But if sellers simply acknowledge the different shapes, as some have been doing for much of the last decade, people are less hesitant to buy them.

It’s as if declaring produce ugly frees people up to understand that the only real difference is how it looks.

These items tend to sell better when they’re at a somewhat lower price than the standard produce, though the researchers say if sellers offer too big a discount, people will think there must be something wrong with them.

Who knew we had such complex feelings around misshapen carrots and potatoes?


If you’re getting weary of remote meetings, this may help: it’s called Zoom Escaper.

It’s a little web widget that lets you add sound effects to your next video call that might let you duck out for a bit – everything from fake glitchy sounds and static to crying babies.

Just don’t tell your boss you heard about it from me.

Why calling food ‘ugly’ makes us want to buy it more (Vancouver Is Awesome)

Zoom Escaper lets you sabotage your own meetings with audio problems, crying babies, and more (The Verge)

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Carrot photo by Brett Forsyth via Flickr/Creative Commons