The way we see it, all produce has value.
There are those that may look a little different on the outside—maybe a pear that’s more round than it is pear shaped. Or an avocado that has some curious spots on the outside. But these external factors say nothing of their flavor, their nutritional value, or their quality. We think it’s about time we stop judging these beautiful foods based on their appearances alone. In fact, it’s time we take a big step back and judge them in a more holistic way.
At Apeel, we see fruits and vegetables as worthy individual pieces of nature’s abundance, much like Mother Nature does. To us, there’s no such thing as an odd fruit out; each one deserves to find its place—ideally meeting a mouth to feed. From a much wider perspective, we like to look at how all of these pieces of the food-supply puzzle fit together.
One big challenge we aim to solve at Apeel is how we disrupt the current “picky” supply chain: most retailers strive to source the so-called “cream of the crop”—the best looking produce that shoppers want to buy—which can account for as little as half of what comes off of the farm.
So what happens to the rest of this imperfectly perfect produce? Well, given enough time, suppliers can make sure this produce goes to a wider array of destinations. Think food service (like restaurants) or food processing (that ugly avocado turns into delicious guacamole and odd-looking oranges becomes fresh juice!) as well as discount stores and food banks for those in need. Without the time or financial incentive to find these outlets, growers and packing facilities can end up with a lot of extra waste.
That’s where our little extra peel comes into play. Added to any produce, Apeel helps each piece last twice as long (and therefore be much more valuable) without the use of harmful chemicals. That means farmers have ample time to distribute every piece of produce they grow, which puts more income in their pockets. Which, of course, also means less food is wasted overall.
If we can treat all produce—including the not-so-pretty pieces— we make room for more food to go around and more time to find that food’s purpose. Yes, it’s a huge systemic challenge and a big disruption to the way the current chain works. But, hey, that’s just the kind of challenge we’re up for!
When we all step back and take in the whole picture, appreciating each piece of fruit or each nutritious vegetable not just for how they look on the shelf, but for their value as a source of good food, then the whole harvest gets sold, the whole community benefits, and we can help feed the whole world.