More Revelations About The Ugly Truth
From Kelly Curry
Founder of The Electric Smoothie Lab Apothecary
I was in denial.
I was so excited about the whole ugly fruit thing that when Phat Beet’s/Food First’s article came out –“The Ugly Truth About Imperfect Produce” I didn’t wanna believe it.
Imperfect Produce (IP) seemed like such lovely execution of a good idea. I’d visited the warehouse, met with them and felt confident that they’d come up with a clever way to support ending food waste and help support nutritional justice in our communities.
The article turned my Soul inside out. I lost sleep. Not only were they distributing commercially farmed, genetically modified produce, farmed by laborers being exposed to pesticides and making below minimum wage, but according to the article, IP was also diverting food from food banks.
I didn’t want to believe it, so I called Phat Beets and Imperfect Produce…put our use of Imperfect’s produce on hiatus for project The Electric Smoothie Lab Apothecary until we could get to the root and find the truth.
The truth…the truth was worse than the article. Though the CO of Imperfect cancelled his meeting with me, we were able to get more of the story from the research team that formed after the article shook up the movement.
Apparently, Phat Beets had to cease its organic produce as medicine program (Rx Veggie Vouchers/Beet Bux) for children at the children’s hospital of Oakland because Imperfect had undercut their sales so much that Phat Beets had stop the program. After even more eerie and strange revelations about the practices of this Soulless distribution outfit masquerading as everybody’s answer to shifts in the food system, Steve Linkhart, Director of the Ca Association of Food Banks “Farm to Family” Program shed light on the ugly truth in a candid conversation with Phat Beets Produce sharing some insight on the world of ugly on a national level “Ugly produce movement has no impact on food banks in California because the scale of agriculture and the amount of available product is enormous, we are shipping twenty 18 wheelers a day. In other states there may very well be an impact on the ability of food banks to access affordable produce where ugly produce businesses operate because there is less available produce.” Imperfect operations are impacting food banks nationally. In fact Imperfect Produce uses many of the same suppliers as the California Association of Food Banks, one reason being is that one of Imperfect’s co-founders (Ron Clark), led this program for nearly 15 years. Things that make you go hmmmm…