Home Economics A new market for old and ugly fruit and vegetables takes shape

A new market for old and ugly fruit and vegetables takes shape

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Multiple roots to success

NO ONE knows quite how much fruit and vegetable produce never reaches the grocery checkout till. A fifth perhaps—or maybe twice that—is judged to be beneath commercial standards. So it is put to use as animal-feed or compost, or simply thrown away in a landfill. This infuriates those appalled at waste. Their outrage, however, has not been enough to create for unwanted fruit and vegetable the kind of sophisticated market that exists for products with more obvious uses, such as securities, currencies, metals, oil and unsullied agriculture. That is starting to change.

At least two companies, Imperfect produce (whose logo is a misshapen potato that looks like a heart) and Hungry Harvest (whose slogan is “Rescued Produce. Delivered”), now provide boxes of subpar stuff directly to retail customers, one concentrating on the west coast of America, the other on the east. Another company, Full Harvest, has the wholesale market in its sights,…Continue reading



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