Could Ugly Fruit Be the Answer to Food Waste?

food waste

In the United States, 40 percent of food produced goes to waste at some stage in the supply chain:
from farm to fork to landfill. The most food — about 1 in 5 items — is squandered on farms just
because it’s not pretty enough to be sold in supermarkets. Ben Simon, Ben Chesler, and Ron Clark
took issue with these alarming figures and founded Imperfect Produce. Imperfect Produce is a service
that takes cosmetically challenged fruits and vegetables (wrong shape, size or color or simply
surplus) and ships them to homes and offices at a significant discount. “By sourcing the produce
straight from farmers we pass on the savings to consumers,” Chesler says. The produce tastes exactly
like store-bought, but may merely look a little off. “We have 50 farms we source from, split pretty
evenly between organic and conventional,” he adds. Recently, Imperfect Produce began to deliver to
the whole Bay Area, including Marin. By 2017 the company plans to be delivering to every address in
California and it hopes to expand to every major U.S. city by 2019.

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Inner Beauty”.