Oakland-Based Imperfect Will Sell Only "Ugly" Fruits And Vegetables

By - 370 words


Reading Level

Listen to Article

Similar to humans, produce comes in different shapes and sizes. Yet, chances are you have probably never encountered a gnarly looking carrot or an apple with "character" at your local grocery store or farmers market. That's because any fruit or vegetable that looks different from what is considered "normal" is deemed undesirable and automatically tossed out!

Experts estimate that six billion pounds or about twenty percent of all produce grown in the US ends up either in landfill or as animal feed, annually. Now Ben Chesler, Ben Simon and Ron Clark want to change that with their aptly named startup "Imperfect." The Oakland-based company plans to purchase the"cosmetically challenged produce" from farmers and sell it either through a supermarket chain they recently signed a deal with or by delivering it directly to consumers.

Chesler and Simon believe that once consumers realize that "ugly" fruits and vegetables taste as good as the "beautiful" produce supermarkets display, they will embrace the cause. The company who is working with farmers in California, plans to start selling the produce to the residents of Oakland and Berkeley by July 2015. If all goes well, Imperfect will extend the service to other California cities and then hopefully, to other states as well.

In addition to preventing waste, Imperfect's idea will also result in additional income for farmers who are sometimes forced to trash as much as 50% of their harvest just because it doesn't look "right." Consumers that eat the produce will benefit too. That's because the entrepreneurs estimate it will cost as much as 30-50% less than grocery store produce.

And if that's not enough to convince you that "ugly" produce may be worth a try, how about this? It will help the environment too! That's because rotting produce releases harmful methane into the atmosphere. Additionally, for drought-ridden California the business could not have come at a better time. Each pound of food that gets sold prevents the 25-50 gallons of water it takes to grow a pound of produce from being wasted! The one benefit the entrepreneurs have not factored in is that kids may consume more fruits and vegetables if look "different" than the boring ones they encounter today!

Resources: fastcoexist.com, grist.org,psfk.com, npr.com

Cite Article
Learn Keywords in this Article
  • jazmine2008
    jazmine2008about 3 years
    once a was eating cheetos and one looked like a heart but i know cheetos are not a fruit. but it was cool follow if you like cheetos.
    • alphawolf13
      alphawolf13about 3 years
      This is actually really cool.
      • yumgirly10
        yumgirly10about 3 years
        It does look ugly... but I don't think you should WASTE it because it looks weird. I mean it probably tastes the same!!!!!!!!!! And they are probably the organic
        • pukipukipunpun
          pukipukipunpunabout 3 years
          This so amazing to see that you don't have to look perfect to be sold or in our world popular you just have to be you <3
          • 3ndl3ss_m3rcy
            3ndl3ss_m3rcyabout 3 years
            The apple is just happy the way they are! Just look at that face! >﹏<
            • kkdelaya
              kkdelayaabout 3 years
              That is so cool and I don't that those fruits are ugly I think that they are unique because I think that stuff I have never seen before are cool. And please follow if you agree.😀
              • lowkey_amy
                lowkey_amyabout 3 years
                Not ugly...SUPER COOL!
                • gold3nglare
                  gold3nglareabout 3 years
                  I honestly wouldn't buy that but I like what they are doing
                  • pukipukipunpun
                    pukipukipunpunabout 3 years
                    Um they are not wasting food, do you know that people in 3rd world countries would be so grateful for this. So think again about what your saying because your life could change with a blink of an eye and you would be grateful for these fruits.
                  • wolfy_blue
                    wolfy_blueabout 3 years
                    this is interesting....
                    • ilovetacoslol
                      ilovetacoslolover 3 years
                      Thats so cool!