Eden is a new environmentally friendly company that makes fresh, cold-pressed juices from ‘ugly food’ — imperfectly shaped fruits and vegetables that don’t meet strict appearance requirements for a discriminating public.
What’s the big deal with ‘Ugly Food’?
It may surprise you to learn that 30 to 40% of food grown around the world is discarded. Some for spoilage, but much of this waste includes bruised fruits and misshapen vegetables containing the same nutrients as their photoshop-perfect siblings. This, while 15 million kids in just America alone go hungry everyday, and lack access to nutritious food.
In the midst of consumer perfectionist expectations, the ‘ugly food’ movement is quietly gathering steam, reminiscent of the early beginnings of the now mainstream Organic movement. The European Union named 2014 the Year Against Food Waste, with food retailers selling produce that would ordinarily have ended up in the landfill. Avoiding the word ‘ugly’ for marketing reasons, French supermarket chain Intermarché artfully called it ‘inglorious food’, and British retailer touted it as ‘wonky food’. Canada’s Loblaws got into the game with their ‘naturally imperfect’ produce while Safeway (in Canada) is considering a ‘misfits’ campaign. Here in the US, we’ve been slower to embrace this movement. We’ve had the Food Recovery Network and Food Recovery Challenge programs for years that help divert some of what would be wasted to needy families, but it’s not enough. So Bon Appetit Management, a huge food-service company, launched Imperfectly Delicious Produce, which diverts imperfect produce from the reject pile to the restaurants and cafeterias it serves, Google being among them.
Overfed and Undernourished
Besides an estimated total cost of $400 billion food being wasted (!!), food that farmers planted, watered, harvested, and often transported to distributors and transported back to the farm post-rejection, challenges abound to giving children and adults greater access to nutritious food. More than 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight or obese in the US, and fewer than 35% of Americans eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
So apparently if not going hungry, then many are overfed and undernourished.
While these challenges can’t be solved overnight, Eden hopes to get one step closer to a solution with their line of fresh, cold-pressed juices. By using produce deemed aesthetically unacceptable, they’ll help reduce food waste in the US while making nutrient-rich food more accessible.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog, you know I don’t take up causes. I don’t rant. I’m not an activist camping out in the offices of big Ag. I tend to take the path of changing my own consumer behavior instead of evangelizing to others. But this is a topic that engages me on many levels, as I’m genuinely concerned about the world in which my grandchildren will raise their own children, and how they will feed them. Using more of the food we’re already growing seems like a great place to start.
In celebration of Wednesday’s Earth Day, join us today in funding Eden’s Kickstarter campaign by going to drinkeden.com. It’s a wonderful way of raising awareness of an issue that will only become larger as population growth continues to swell and arable land shrinks.
As encouragement, Eden is offering Kickstarter funding perks ranging from branded Eden T-shirts to multi-day juice cleanses to monthly and even yearly juice subscriptions as incentives to contribute to their Kickstarter campaign.
Additionally, Eden is sponsoring a Rafflecopter giveaway. Please enter below for the chance to win one of three $150 VISA gift cards! This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. NOTE: To enter the giveaway, entrants will be asked to share their email addresses to opt in to Eden’s mailing list for company updates and special promotions. The information/email addresses will not be sold or shared in any way.
So please join me in supporting this mighty effort by Eden!
Because food is too valuable to waste.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Eden. All opinions are my own.