What makes the produce “ugly?”

1 in 5 fruits and vegetables don't meet the strict cosmetic standards of grocery stores, often causing them to go to waste or be undervalued. This is especially sad given that these imperfections are small quirks in appearance that an eater would rarely notice and that do not impact the flavor or health of benefits at all. Examples of what counts as “ugly” produce include crooked carrots, asymmetrical bell peppers, or oranges with scarring or discoloration.

A shockingly large amount of produce goes to waste just because of its size. A few centimeters can be the difference between produce going to waste and produce making it into the grocery store. Grocery stores are used to buying produce that stacks perfectly in uniform patterns in display cases–anything that doesn’t fit into this criteria won’t get purchased. Call us crazy, but we think it matters more how a carrot tastes on your plate than how it looks in a display case.

We also source surplus produce. When a farm has a larger than expected crop of a fruit or vegetable there may not be grocery store demand to meet the excess supply. Imperfect works directly with these farmers to ensure that their surplus does not go to waste.

While we happily buy wonky-looking and surplus produce, we do not buy produce that is bruised, moldy, or old. If we would not eat it, we do not sell it. We have rigorous quality standards in place in all of our warehouses to make sure that the produce that you get in your box is just as fresh and delicious as the farmer would want you to enjoy. If anything in your box is below this standard, please let us know and we'll make it right–no questions asked.

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