Ugly food getting some love in an effort to combat drought

Zucchini (two at left) from Bon Appetit Management Co.’s Imperfectly Delicious Produce program next to regular zucchini (right) in the kitchen of Caleruega dining hall at Dominican University of California in San Rafael. Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle

Zucchini (two at left) from Bon Appetit Management Co.’s Imperfectly Delicious Produce program next to regular zucchini (right). Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle

In the supermarket produce section, carrots are perfect orange cylinders. Apples are unblemished, and asparagus spears are as uniformly thick as a box of children’s markers.

Yet, in nature, carrots don’t always grow straight, apples can get sunburnt markings and asparagus comes in all sizes. Millions of pounds of this produce gets tossed out every year, simply because of how it looks.

Making sure this perfectly edible food doesn’t continue to go to waste has become the mission of some Bay Area entrepreneurs. They’re on the cusp of the next frontier of food activism — changing the way we look at food in order to address what we throw away.

“The culture of perfection is so ingrained in our society, whether you’re talking about human bodies or your houses or your food,” said Dana Frasz, founder and director of Food Shift, an Oakland organization that works on large-scale food-waste prevention. “It’s time we had a reality check in terms of how the food is grown.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that of the produce that’s discarded, 10 to 30 percent is tossed just because of appearance. And when food is tossed out, the water used to grow it (read more)

This entry was posted in Articles, Farm, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Archives