Because Every Vegetable Deserves Love

"Cosmetically challenged" farm produce make for tons of  food waste globally. PHOTO:  JCPestano/Shutterstock)

“Cosmetically challenged” farm produce make for tons of food waste globally. PHOTO: JCPestano/Shutterstock)

If you live in Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville, often find yourself complaining about high pricing of groceries, this is for you. Above bring fruits and vegetables to you at economical rates, this start-up is concerned with the noble business of minimizing food waste. How they do it – by collecting rejected asymmetrical farm produce and shipping 10-14 pounds of oddball deliciousness to your doorstep, and it’ll only cost $12.

As food journeys from field to plate, 40 percent of it will be wasted. According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, that amounts to $165 billion in wasted food, and don’t forget about the water resources and fossil fuels used to produce and ship that food. We cast aside food that doesn’t look right, grocery stores discard items past their sell-by date, and we’ve all purchased foods that sit in the pantry for years only to end up in the waste basket. Vast quantities of asymmetrical fruit and veggies are cast aside on the farm simply because we like our roughage to look beautiful before we chew it up in our mouths. Imperfect hopes to change that.

It all started when we launched the Food Recovery Network in 2011 to recover leftover food from campus dining halls. After 700,000 pounds of food recovered and 150 college campuses, we began looking for ways to have an even bigger impact. And we found it – on farms, where 20% of the produce grown never makes it to a human mouth, in large part because it is simply the wrong shape, size, or color.

We realized that across the country, ugly produce (or as we like to say, “cosmetically-challenged produce”) is being treated like a second-class citizen. Every year six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables go to waste on farms across the U.S. just for looking a little different from other produce.  Instead of going to feed people, all that wasted produce is sitting in landfills, where it releases methane gas into the atmosphere.

So we came up with the idea to reduce this food waste while making produce more affordable for all families. We’ve teamed up on this project with Ron Clark, who has worked for the California Association of Food Banks for the last 15 years sourcing ugly produce to keep it from going to waste.

Imperfect gives consumers the chance to buy delicious, wonky-looking produce at a discount. So instead of going to waste, all those odd-looking fruits and vegetables will be helping Americans eat healthier, at a price they can afford.

Read more here.

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