The latest subject to incite John Oliver's ire and incredulity has been food waste. A recent PBS NewsHour report highlighted the upsettingly profligate way in which food is selected for retail in the United States: yellow-tinged cauliflowers, slightly imperfect peaches, and misshapen broccoli are all routinely thrown away just because they don't measure up to a perfectionist expectation for food uniformity. Oliver takes up the topic in his usual exaggerated style, while also noting the absurdity of having landfills piling up with fresh produce in a country where 49.1 million people are classed as "food insecure."
This isn't the most uplifting John Oliver video you'll ever see, but it does end on a positive note. He advocates the establishment of permanent tax breaks to encourage small farms and businesses to donate their imperfect produce to food charities — which would simultaneously reduce the methane-producing impact of landfill and help the needy — while also urging us to change our habits as well. France has been among the leaders in Europe in developing an "ugly food" movement that embraces fruit and vegetables that don't adhere to the ideal size and appearance for retail shelves. Those who choose to participate in such a movement generally pay less for their food and get the added bonus of knowing they're doing something to reverse the silly practice of wasting perfectly good food.