Is that banana bent? That lemon a bit lumpy? That pear… pear shaped?
“Ugly produce” often gets skipped over. In fact, some twenty percent of all fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. don’t adhere to the strict cosmetic standards of grocery stores, creating lamentable waste. But Imperfect Produce steps in to save some of the 20 billion pounds of produce that would go unharvested or unsold each year. This delivery service buys the cosmetically imperfect produce directly from farms and ships to customers’ doors… for about 30% less than grocery store prices.
The concept is launching in the DC area after successful forays into San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, and Chicago.
“When I first started Imperfect Produce nearly four years ago, it was still a dream to bring this service to cities around the country,” says Imperfect Produce CEO Ben Simon. “My dream is now a reality, and I am beyond thrilled to launch Imperfect Produce in the DC metro area and have the local communities I grew
up with be part of the fight against food waste, help farmers benefit from a full harvest, and make more fruits and vegetables accessible and affordable to all.”
At a launch event at Rasa, 1247 First Street SE, on February 11th, guests had the chance to taste a newly-launched dish using “ugly” produce, meet and interview Simon, along with representatives from local food bank partner — Capital Area Food Bank — and experience a fun demonstration by Rasa’s Chef.
Imperfect Produce patrons will be able to fully customize their experience, choosing from a small, medium, large or extra-large shipments ranging from $12-18 weekly or bi-weekly filled with fruits and vegetables, along with other perishable food products that might normally go to waste. In DC, Imperfect Produce will partner with DC Central Kitchen to donate edible produce that was not ordered by customers, to continue reducing food waste on all levels.