A New San Diego Company Aims To Reduce Food Waste | Imperfect Produce Begins Delivery On September 17

September 8, 2018

Launching later this new month is a new San Diego delivery service aiming to reduce food waste. Imperfect Produce will start delivery "ugly" fruits and vegetables to consumers and area businesses starting on September 17.

"As a college student at the University of Maryland, I noticed a lot of food in our cafeteria going to waste," explained Imperfect Produce CEO Ben Simon. "This needless waste inspired me to start the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a non-profit dedicated to preventing waste on college campuses. Through this work with the FRN, I met Imperfect Co-Founder Ben Chesler. As we kept learning more about food waste, we realized that there was an even bigger opportunity to make an impact on food waste by addressing the billions of pounds of 'ugly' and surplus produce that never even made it off of farms every year. Together, we founded Imperfect in August 2015 with the mission of finding a home for the 1 in 5 fruits and vegetables that grocery stores wouldn’t buy because of how they looked."

While other food delivery services are adding to landfills with their excess plastic, Imperfect Produce sources "ugly: fruits and surplus vegetables from farms and delivers them directly to consumers’ doors for about 30% less than grocery store prices. The produce arrives in a recyclable cardboard box with no other packaging, no plastic, and very minimal waste. With the impending San Diego launch, the company is set to disrupt the food system here by offering its service to a huge portion of the county, from Southeast San Diego to the beaches to the college area. Imperfect Produce will give San Diegans a new option when it comes to purchasing fresh produce, cutting out trips to the grocery store and helping solve a problem by consuming in a different way.

Customers can fully customize the Imperfect Produce experience, choosing from a small, medium, large or extra-large shipment ranging from $12-18 weekly or bi-weekly/ The package will be filled with fruits and vegetables, along with other perishable food products that might normally go to waste. To coincide with the San Diego launch, Imperfect Produce is partnering with Modern Times on a collaboration brew utilizing the ugly produce. The company is also working to partner with San Diego restaurants to offer menu items made with this cast-off produce. Imperfect Produce has locked up a partnership with Puesto, where Chef Katy Smith will be utilizing Imperfect’s "ugly" carrots in the escabeche as an ongoing partnership and there will be a ‘Taco of the Month’ partnership as well. 

Feeding San Diego is also onboard as Imperfect Produce's food bank partner. In keeping with its mission, everything that Imperfect Produce purchases from farmers go either to its customers or a food bank - no waste! In each market, there's always produce that can't be used, whether it's overripe, there was an address error, or there's a type of produce where there's not enough to package it in an official Imperfect Produce box. In every market it's in, Imperfect Produce donates a significant amount of produce to either nonprofits or food banks.

For more information about Imperfect Produce and to place an order, visit imperfectproduce.com.