Have you ever stopped to consider how all the apples, carrots, tomatoes, and other fruits and vegetables that you buy look alike? Why don’t these items occasionally come in different sizes or unusual shapes?
Well, the truth is that produce often grows in atypical ways. However, those special fruits and vegetables never make it to your local supermarket. That’s because they’re being thrown them away. Yes, at least 20 percent of American produce goes to waste every year for cosmetic reasons.
You see, major grocery chains have established rules for produce appearance; the colors, sizes, and shapes are strictly regulated. Thus, farm employees will discard any fruit or vegetable that doesn’t meet those requirements.
Squandering so much good food is a serious moral and environmental problem. In addition, ugly fruit and vegetables can be sold at lower prices, which means that families who buy groceries on a budget could purchase more of them. Not to mention, hardworking farmers would make considerably more money if they could reduce food waste.
Imperfect Produce is here to help. This organization lets farms sell their odd-looking fruits and vegetables. It delivers such produce, much of which is grown in California, to homes, workplaces, and other locations throughout the Bay Area.
The agricultural experts at Imperfect Produce ensure that all of these fruits and vegetables are completely safe to eat, fresh, full of nutrients, and of the highest quality. You can even order this kind of food in bulk.
Ben Simon, Ben Chesler, and Ron Clark, the founders of Imperfect Produce, were each involved for years in anti-hunger efforts. Through that work, they learned about ugly produce. They decided to start a business that could raise awareness of these wasted foods while also making these fruits and vegetables available to consumers.
After a while, however, many people might stop thinking of these items as ugly fruit and vegetables. Indeed, many of them are striking to behold, and some of them are adorable. They can make great conversation pieces, and parents and children can have fun figuring out what each one looks like: a heart, a fish, and so on.
Even better, in some cases, vegetables and fruits that are smaller than average are more flavorful. Plus, you can feel good knowing that you’re doing your part to reduce food waste. For all of these reasons, let’s hear it for imperfect fruits and vegetables, which happen to be perfect for just about any meal or snack.
Other initiatives saving these delightful darlings:
Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables – France
Imperfect Picks – Australia
Do you know of more companies, farms, or organizations working to stop food waste by saving ugly fruits and vegetables? Comment below to tell us about them!