But, where do the ugly potatoes go?

How many times have you walked into a grocery store and said to yourself “wow, this is beautiful!”. Well, I have. Many many times. The beauty of all the colorful fruits and vegetables inspires me. The way they are perfectly lined up and placed on display looks like art! Even before I was into food styling, I was always in love with the grocery store. I used to beg my mom to bring me with her when I was a little girl. Even at the age of 28, I am excited about things like new packaging and food displays. I take notice of how things are laid out and I am very aware of attracts me as a consumer. It is all super fascinating to me! BUT, there is a lot that I admittedly did NOT know about this process. Today I am sharing a whole different perspective on the food in grocery stores. More specifically – the food that actually isn’t in grocery stores! Have you ever wondered… What happens to all the food that grocery stores do not put on the shelves? This question was recently presented to me by my friends at Flashfoodbox. I was so inspired by their mission and story that I wanted to share it with all of you!

Before I get into this, I want to preface that this blog post does mean I am against grocery stores in any way. Because I am absolutely not. It is about sharing that in 2018 – there are companies devoted to eliminating food waste and encouraging awareness on this topic. I think that is pretty incredible! For the sake of transparency, I love shopping in beautiful markets, but I also love supporting ways that we can cultivate a more sustainable way of living and bring more awareness to a story that needs attention. There is always room for balance!

OK, here we go.

Flashfoodbox (a Toronto company) created a delivery service that brings “ugly” produce or surplus produce – rejected by grocery stores – to your door.  Things like onions, cucumbers, carrots, apples, beets, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, oranges, peppers and more. This is the food that is not visually appealing (or from overproduction) and therefore grocery stores choose not to purchase it from farmers and put it on the shelf. This food is perfectly good for me and you to eat. Further, at the end of the day, if the farm cannot sell this product to stores, it is likely going into the landfill with other trash and non-recyclables. Flashfoodbox has worked to bridge this gap and save this food from going to waste by delivering it directly to the consumer. I truly believe this is an amazing service that is helping both farmers and consumers consciously reduce food waste. MAJOR KUDOS!

To be honest, it is sad to think about the fact that I had no idea this was all happening. I do not think a lot of people are aware of just how much food is wasted every year. The stats are crazy and actually quite disturbing. I know most of us aren’t losing sleep over this, and if you are like me, you probably haven’t really put much thought into it until now. We aren’t exposed to this process nor is it really talked about. I think that is a problem. I’ll admit, until recently I have never walked into a grocery store and wondered where the misshapen apples are or where the funky looking carrots went? Surely, not all produce is aesthetically “perfect”, but the truth is – we should be thinking about this more. It is important for us to care about this topic and do our part in being conscious consumers. This is why I am so happy to spread the word about Flashfoodbox – companies like this are really making a difference. Plus, they also give you an option to donate a box of their produce to Forgotten Harvest. Forgotten Harvest helps feed hungry families and communities around metro Detroit.

I encourage you to give the Flashfoodbox a try to compliment your weekly food shopping. If you are interested, visit their website here and use code EATWELLWITHSARI for 50% off your first box!

Here are some other ways we can help reduce food waste:

  • If you are going out of town and have extra food in your fridge – donate it or give to a neighbor! 
  • If you have a huge event, give your caterer permission to donate any leftovers! It is summer and tons of events are happening! Great to spread the love on this one.

Below are some delicious dishes I have made with produce from my Flashfoodbox!

CAULI RICE STIRFRY:

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SPICY VEGGIE PASTA WITH SHRIMP + GREENS

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CRISPY POTATO CHIPS

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I hope you enjoyed learning about Flashfoodbox and the good they are doing in the Detroit area and beyond. It is such a pleasure to work with like-minded companies who are aligned with my values. Thank you to Flashfoodbox for sponsoring this post!

xo

Sari

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