Three Entrepreneurs Who Are Cashing In On Ugly Produce And Other Food Waste

ugly produce


ugly produce

You probably wouldn’t guess there are big profits to be made in the food waste industry. But entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds are making a livelihood using food scraps to make everything from compost, biodiesel to flavored powders. Now three new hopefuls want to get in on the action by joining the movement to reduce wastefulness.

Food Recovery Network alums, Ben Simon and Ben Chesler, launched new start-up Imperfect to deliver ugly produce to customers’ doorsteps. Before you raise a red flag of concern, the brand ensures that the taste and quality is the same, if not better, than produce sold in stores. For a mere $12, customers living on the West Coast receive a box of seasonal picks. This is much cheaper than the estimated $30 you’ll pay at your local market.

Tech Insider blogger Ariel Schwartz (who also used to write for sister site Cleantechnica) shared in this posting that she quickly became a “convert” of Imperfect’s blemished and/or misshapen produce after tasting their freshness. She couldn’t believe anyone would think of them as trash if they gave them a chance. A drawback for some customers may be the company’s lack of organic produce. Typically conventional farms produce more waste, so the brand hopes to recover as much food as possible from these locations and offer organic options at a later date.

Whether you choose to order your fruits and vegetables from a delivery service or buy them from the grocery store, you can be a part of the push to bring ugly produce mainstream. Check out this Change.org Petition to tell giant retailers all food deserves to be eaten!

Inventor Uses a Family Recipe to Keep Food Fresher Longer

Kavita Shukla, the creator of FreshPaper, is the newest business owner working to bring fresh foods to people everywhere. Her thin sheet of paper is infused with her grandmother’s secret blend of organic spices. It guarantees to keep foods fresher for 2 to 4 times longer than without it. One great thing about FreshPaper is it works the same if used in a fruit bowl, berry carton or placed on the counter as a “drying sheet for produce”.

Shukla is currently working towards getting her innovative papers to food banks and non-governmental organizations (NGO). The longer food can be preserved, the better chance it can be delivered to people who need it the most. This product also may be a helpful solution to families as they try to stretch their food budget and stop wasting at home.

Do you know of a new business taking on the global food waste problem? If so, tell me about it by leaving me a note in the comments.

Photo credit: Tomatoes … via photopin (license)

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