Rescuing 'Ugly' Fruit
An incredible amount of investment goes into producing food, only for more than ⅓ of it to ultimately be wasted. California farmer Ben Moore witnessed this first-hand when he was dumping tons of edible but unmarketable fruit into landfills, knowing that nearby communities were food insecure.
Moore… “You know, we just dumped out six truckloads of fruit ourselves and you know, I thought that’s about 150 tons for fruit right there, you know wouldn’t it be nice if someone could have that fruit to eat or to eat that fruit essentially. You know, it’s all edible fruit in one form or another. It really is kind of a sad thing, right when we have an overabundance of a resource in our area and there’s a shortage in another area. There’s so much to be figured out to get people fruit.”
This inspired him to start The Ugly Company, which takes cosmetically damaged fruit and repurposes it into tasty dried fruit snacks.
Moore… “We take fruit from packing sheds that’s been sorted out. It’s handled at the same hygienic level that it was handled as if it was going into a box for the grocery store. So, we take it in our Marco26 bins down at our plant, put it in cold storage, essentially just wash it, pit it, cut it, and dry it. Then the fruit can sit in cold storage for several years at a very low moisture content, so about 8%. And then from there when we get orders in or as we forecast our inventory, we take it back out of cold storage, do some quality control, and then rehydrate the fruit a little bit, and then we pack it in our bags.”
Learn more at theuglyco.com