How Imperfect Foods uses ‘ugly’ produce to help create a more sustainable food system

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Imperfect Foods is one of those rare companies that provides exactly what its name tells you it does.

The food delivery service, founded in 2015, sends its customers imperfect — or “ugly” — produce. Their fruits and veggies are rejects; surplus foods that were deemed too misshapen or undesirable to sell in a grocery store.

In doing so, Imperfect Foods lets its customers in on a wide-reaching, eco-minded movement — one that’s saved 139 million pounds of food over the last six years. Without the company or its subscribers, all of that food would’ve been thrown away.

It’s series of achievements centered on two, simple goals: To eliminate food waste, and to help build a better food ecosystem for everyone.

“If food can be saved, we will save it,” the company says on its website. “With every bite into a misshapen apple, short piece of pasta, or oversized egg we can shape our world for the better. We’re hungry for change and eager to reduce waste on the farm, at the store, and in the home.”

Imperfect Foods does this not only by promoting “ugly,” unwanted produce — but by making it fun. The service (which you can subscribe to here) features numerous subscription offers and has a diverse range of products that go way beyond just produce. Imperfect Foods also sells meat, dairy items, plant-based snacks and even beauty products.

The company even lists an array of creative recipes to help customers best utilize their food.

In fact, The Know video editor Poppy Shen decided to do exactly that. Watch the video above to see Poppy whip up some cherry tomato bruschetta — using all fresh ingredients from her Imperfect Foods box.

You can also watch Poppy unbox her delivery, which featured avocados, fresh herbs, mushrooms, apples, lemons, sourdough bread and of course, plenty of tomatoes.

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If you liked this story, check out this article on EcoTok, the creative collective helping environmentalism go viral on TikTok.

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