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Ugly produce delivery service to combat domestic food waste

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A new campaign seeks to end unnecessary food waste. (Imperfect)

Americans waste a lot of food.

Last year, National Geographic estimated that the average family of four throws out over 1,160 pounds of food--- including meager table scraps, spills and spoilage.

But it turns out that as a country, America is wasting a ton of perfectly edible produce because it just doesn’t look right. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. throws away about six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables annually because it is rejected by grocers and other food sellers for being too ugly. That means those deliciously lumpy lemons and two-bit tomatoes are simply tossed out.

Now, a crowd-funded company called Imperfect wants to change the way Americans view funny looking food with an easy to use service. Subscribers to the program can get seasonal ingredients-- otherwise destined for the dumpster-- delivered right to their homes on a weekly basis.

Imperfect, which is based in California, reached its fundraising goal earlier this month and will begin delivering produce to homes in Oakland and Berkeley this summer, reports Huffington Post.

"You're going to feel good, knowing that by eating Imperfect, you're helping to reduce food waste and protect the environment from the green house gasses that rotting food emits," Imperfect says in its IndieGoGo fundraising video.

Consumers are getting a great discount—usually 30 to 50 percent less than grocery store prices—and the fruit and vegetables are guaranteed to taste exactly the same. Farmers also stand to make more money with the ability to profit from produce that was previously deemed un-sellable.

While Imperfect provides a convenient home delivery service, other initiatives are sprouting up around the world with a similar aim. Ugly Fruits and Vegetables, a program by EndFoodWaste.org, provides lists of local vendors that provide low-cost, high-value unusual looking produce to consumers around the globe.