One socially conscious company is making your emoji keyboard a little less perfect in an effort to tackle food waste.
Hungry Harvest , a startup service that delivers "recovered produce" to consumers' doorsteps, has created a series of "ugly" fruit and vegetable emoji meant to get people thinking — and typing — about our preoccupation with aesthetically pleasing food.
SEE ALSO: 11 practical ways you can reduce food waste and save money
In late September, the company rolled out Ugly Produce! , an iOS app that gives every user a package of new emoji, including a slightly misshapen strawberry and an imperfect potato.
A photo posted by Hungry Harvest (@hungryharvest) on Oct 1, 2016 at 5:57am PDT
Pretty produce is the standard in most U.S. supermarkets, meaning fruits and veggies that have visible variations from our standard idea of a robust apple or a snappy carrot are usually tossed. That means roughly 1 out of every 5 edible fruits and vegetables are thrown out every year — simply for appearing a little out of sorts.
Roughly 1 out of every 5 edible fruits and veggies are tossed every year.
This adds up to a lot of wasted food — but it's not only an American problem. About one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted or lost between the process of food production and consumption, worth around $1 trillion annually.
All this waste is disheartening when you consider the realities of hunger and food insecurity across the globe. But high rates of discarded food also have adverse impacts on the environment. According to the United Nations Environment Programme , organic waste is the second highest component of landfills in the U.S., contributing substantially to methane gas emissions that warm the atmosphere.
Image: Hungry Harvest/Itunes
Hungry Harvest wants you to use its emoji to make an impact. But it isn't stopping with just an opt-in app. The company is taking its mission further, currently petitioning to encourage Unicode, Apple and Google to adopt the imperfect produce into their standard emoji keyboards.
While it isn't likely that these massive tech companies will change their faultless emoji fruit for something a little more flawed, iPhone users who want to make a difference can tackle the issue through tech.
At the very least, it will make you think twice next time you scoff at a misshapen melon.