Words by Smiley Team
Think of the beat-up vegetables in the produce section of the grocery store – the cucumbers that have a few too many bumps, or the celery with a funky end.
Normally those veggies, and other products with small deformities or marks would end up wasted, finding their way into a dump. Misfits Market has found a way to remedy that.
An online-only grocery retailer Misfits Market has made a business of selling produce and other products that might otherwise be thrown away by standard grocery stores, at a price much lower than a brick and mortar store.
“Almost a third of what’s grown in the U.S. never gets harvested because it doesn’t meet the superficial standards of a traditional grocery store,” says Misfits Market. “Because we work closely with farmers and food makers, we know just how much food is going to waste every single day.
"By being committed to fighting food waste, we’ve unlocked a new way to make healthy, quality food more affordable for more people.”
The CEO and founder of Misfits, Abhi Ramesh, got the idea to start the company while in Pennsylvania.
“When I was apple picking, I got really bored and saw that a bunch of the apples that had fallen from the tree, were a little misshapen, or had some spots on them,” he said. “(The farmer) said that they didn’t really know what to do with them. They stored some of them for a little bit, tried to sell what they could to (farmers) markets, and then the rest got composted, tossed, or fed to the pigs.”
That experience inspired him to work to use that food that otherwise went to waste all across the United States.
In their growth, Misfits has started advocating for causes that are important to them. Following Black History Month in February, they highlighted that “food deserts” are often the result of racial inequity.
Now they’re advocating for legislation to improve the conditions and requirements required to donate food.
DONATE: If you want to help feed those in need in other ways, check out Feeding America.
FIND YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK: You can donate food to those in need at your local food bank – find out where there's one in your area.