Hasbro Fights Food Waste With 'Wonky' Mr. Potato Head

Don't call him ugly. Call him cosmetically challenged.

Hasbro Inc. released a one-of-a-kind, “ugly” version of the classic toy Mr. Potato Head to help raise money for FareShare, a U.K.-based charity that helps redistribute surplus food.

Ugly Mr. Potato Head

The promotion is designed to raise awareness of the billion on tons of food thrown away each year because of minor cosmetic imperfections. The misshapen tuber is being auctioned on Ebay until July 3. As of press time, bidding has gone up to $316.

“At FareShare, we are always happy to give a surplus wonky veg a home—it’s the taste, not the shape, that counts, and the charities and community groups we support can turn them into delicious meals for people in need,” Daniel Nicholls, corporate development officer at FareShare, said in a statement.

The campaign is a partnership of Hasbro and Asda, a U.K. grocer and Wal-Mart subsidiary.

Here in the U.S., the Agriculture Department says Americans throw away approximately 133 billion pounds of food per year. It's the single largest contributor to landfills, and decomposing food makes up a significant portion of overall emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, the USDA says. Dairy, vegetables and grain products make up half of all food wasted in the U.S., it says.

Since 2015, the USDA has worked toward reducing food waste in the U.S. by 2030 as part of a coordinated effort with charitable organizations, the private sector and government entities. The USDA announced June 28 that it awarded a $500,000 grant to Cornell University to study solutions for reducing food waste at the consumer level.