Twisted Carrots, misshapen squash and oddly shaped apples are the definition of “ugly” produce. One in five fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. do not meet the strict cosmetic standards of grocery stores which means many of them go to waste. Imperfect Produce preaches that just because some fruits look different, it doesn't mean they aren’t delicious and nutritious.
Instead of rotting in a field or being sent to the landfill, Imperfect Produce brings unloved and slightly different looking produce to your doorstep with their delivery service. The service which is currently in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, arrives in the Seattle area on October 23rd. According to the UN, nearly one third of all the food produced in the world is wasted, causing economic losses of $750 billion worldwide. Imperfect Produce has helped keep over 5 million pounds of produce from being wasted.
“Wasting less food is about eating better and supporting farmers,” says founder Ben Simon. “By eating Imperfect fruits and veggies, you’re helping to change the food system, improve access to healthy food and protect the environment from the greenhouse gasses emitted by uneaten, decomposing food in landfills.”
Each delivery box is fully customizable which allows subscribers to choose two bunches of kale or no kale at all. The mix of organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are priced at rates 30-50 percent below grocery store prices. All the produce is tasty and good for you. Subscribers rave about using this produce in their smoothies where what fruit looks like does not matter one bit.
In keeping with a local model, Imperfect Produce which is based in San Francisco tries to source all their produce from local, regional farmers with local delivery and distribution hubs.
“We deliver our boxes as quickly as possible from farm to doorstep,” says Evan Pence, Pacific NW general manager. “Our new local distribution center is located within the Seattle metro area for easier distribution and quality control.”
Subscribers can select from a variety of boxes for single households to those with larger families. The right mix of perfectly ripened fruit and vegetables come in each fully customizable weekly box.
“The Imperfect Produce service is great! I decided to try it out more than a month ago and have been pleasantly surprised,” said Portland, OR subscriber, LeAnne Schrotzberger. “Their customer service is excellent -- you can even track and customize your shipments. The quality is better than I can usually find in my local grocery store, and it's much less expensive.”
Imperfect Produce was started by CEO Ben Simon and co-founder Ben Chesler along with Ron Clark in 2015. Their previous work with the Food Recovery Network drove them to create a service which makes an impact on the amount of produce that goes to waste every year. The company sources ugly produce directly from farms and delivers it at a discount to customer’s homes. Imperfect’s delivery service is now available in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Sign up for your weekly (or every other week) box of ugly produce at www.imperfectproduce.com.