A fight against pricey produce

Eating healthy and saving money do not often go hand in hand. In a society that subsidizes high-processed calories, your families personal health can often seem like a battle against your wallet. Many feel they have to choose between affordable foods and a balanced diet…and most of the time they understandably favor their pocket. But what if healthy eating and saving money could be two sides of the same coin through imperfect produce? In 2015, Benjamin Chesler, along with his friends, jumped on a brilliant opportunity to change our current food-paradigm where healthy is for the wealthy.

Initially concerned with food waste, the three men created a unique produce delivery service that would inherently solve the price issue of healthy foods. They called their company Imperfect Produce. The start-up delivers fresh boxes of fruits and vegetables each week that are completely customizable through their website. The produce comes at 30% less than the price paid at the supermarket. Affordable produce delivered right to your doorstep.

What’s the catch?

In fact, there is one. In spirit of the company’s rather literal name, Imperfect Produce embraces produce that is deemed “too ugly” for grocery store shelves. This includes lopsided, “scarred”, and sizably different fruits and vegetables. Sellers tend to turn down any unorthodox-looking produce, returning the burden back to the farmers. Every year, 20 billion pounds of produce is wasted on farms because the food is deemed too ugly or “imperfect” to sell. The founders of Imperfect Produce saw an opportunity to make a market out of this unsustainable system and launched a business addressing food waste as well as produce accessibility issues.

How is it so cheap?

Farmers make money from their yields by selling crops to commercial distributors, such as grocery stores. However, businesses tend to be picky in the produce they want displayed in their stores, leaving behind unsightly crops to be thrown into landfills. Not only is food wasted, but farmers lose a lot of capital when they are forced to throw away “imperfect” crops. Imperfect Produce helps out farmers by paying them for their unwanted crops. The produce is then sold at an affordable price, the farmer benefits from new profits, and less food is ultimately wasted.

How exactly does it work?

Imperfect Produce has many delivery locations, mostly in the Midwest, Northeast, and West Coast regions. Anyone in the designated delivery areas can customize a box of produce to fit their needs. Customers can choose a size from S-XL, organic vs. conventional produce, and the ratio of fruits and vegetables desired. Imperfect Produce mimics just how you would pick out your produce from the grocery store.

How is this beneficial to more than just your wallet?

In our current system, food gets wasted, farmers lose money from unprofitable goods, and fewer people have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Billions of pounds of produce are wasted on farms every year. When ideas like Imperfect Produce are actualized, the amount of food waste goes down, one ugly vegetable at a time.

For more information check out imperfectfoods.com

Center for Health and Longevity
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