A major US food distributor is battling food waste by selling ugly vegetables - take a look
About one-third of the food produced worldwide gets wasted or lost each year, according to the United Nations. The United States is part of this global problem; the Food Waste Reduction Alliance estimates that 84% of unused food in American restaurants ends up being disposed of. Only 1% is donated.
Thomas McQuillan, vice president of strategy, culture, and sustainability at Baldor Specialty Foods, told Business Insider that a significant portion of the food grown on US farms is also discarded."We made it easy for us to not feel guilty about sending it to landfill by calling it waste, but it never should have been considered waste," McQuillan said. "It should have always been considered something that we figured out how to utilize."
Baldor, which imports and distributes food in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, is trying to bring the amount of unused food down. This summer, the company launched a program to increase the consumption of food that is imperfect in terms of size, shape, or blemishes.
The "imperfect produce" program, which encourages farms to sell their blemished or misshapen produce to Baldor, is bringing these products to restaurants and aims to hit grocery stores as well. McQuillan said the program also helps generate more revenue for farmers, who can create the same output with less land because they are discarding less food.
Baldor has partnered with two farms that are providing imperfect squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more to the company. Take a look at some of the produce below.