What is Wonky Produce?
Given a choice between a perfectly shaped, bright red apple and a misshapen, dull red apple, which one would you pick? In all probability, you would pick the prettiest apple to eat, most of us would. But what happens to the ugly duckling or the Wonky apple? The flavor and nutritional value of these wonky apple are equal to the pretty red apple, it just looks different. Although there is nothing wrong with the misshapen, dull wonky red apple, it will probably end up tossed in the garbage. An all-to- often occurrence that literally creates a mountain of food waste at local landfills. Many fresh, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables end up as food waste just because they have a minor blemish that makes them less eye-appealing than their pretty counterparts. The good-looking fruits and vegetables are always chosen first, leaving the blemished ones to sit and languish and ultimately end up in the landfill. As the piles of food waste decompose in the landfills around the country, they release heat-trapping methane gas into the atmosphere.
Recovering Wonky Produce
One out of every five fruits and vegetables harvested will end up discarded in the landfill. That translates into one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tons – is wasted at the cost of 680 billion dollars. Finding ways to reduce the food waste before it reaches the landfill is vital to keeping people fed and well-nourished, plus reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. Even recovering a small percentage of the food waste will be helpful. Coming up with innovative ways to market and sell the less attractive fruits and vegetables is needed. As always, the best looking produce will sell first, but second-best tastes as good and should be able to find a good home, perhaps at a reduced price.
Outside2Inside is trying to reduce food waste by recovering wonky fruits and vegetables that gets discarded. This is done through the Farm2School Program, which is helping to provide healthy nutritional food for the children across America.
Outside2Inside is partnering with the Bay area Farms to provide new opportunities for local farmers to sell their fresh produce while providing low-cost fresh food to school children and their parents. By bringing awareness of food waste and doing something to recover some of that food waste now, Farm2School hopes to help prevent a food shortage in the next generation.
Outside2Inside will be setting up farm tables at local low income schools so we can bring and share the wonky fruits & vegetables to educate the school kids and help their families with free produce. This Farm2School program helps support local farmers, provide affordable nutritional food for school children and their families, plus reduce the amount of food waste that ends up at landfills.
Helping to keep farmers in the business of growing fresh produce ensures a sustainable lifestyle for us and future generations. The Farm2School program is also an educational resource that may inspire and produce a new crop of young farmers that will take sustainable farming practices and food waste reduction to a whole new level after graduating from school.
Remember, the next time you seen an wonky apple/pear/carrot/tomato/etc. sitting forlornly on the produce shelf, buy it. The environment (and a farmer) will thank you.