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Delivery service Imperfect Produce is coming to Detroit


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Picking produce can be a process, with buyers considering how ripe the fruit or veggie is, and inspecting it for scuffs, spots, and scratches.

Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables get judged for their looks, even if their insides might be great. As a result of this, 20 percent of fruits and vegetables will never have a chance to bask under fluorescent lights at grocery stores.

Imperfect Produce, a San Francisco-based food-delivery company, announced it will be adding Detroit to its lineup of cities it delivers to, and will do so by partnering with Gleaners Community Food Bank. Detroiters will now be able to help combat food waste and receive boxes of imperfect-looking fruits and veggies.

Orders can be made now for boxes of produce, but the official launch date is June 25, which is when deliveries will begin to go out to homes.

Detroit will join 21 other cities across the country that receive for Imperfect Produce’s services. The company estimates that there’s a possibility for their service to have a large impact in Detroit; for example, if 2,500 residents sign up for boxes then the city would be recovering about 26,450 pounds of produce each week, which would result in over a million pounds recovered in a year.

With eliminating food waste as the focus of its mission, Imperfect Produce sources food from local farmers that doesn't meet grocery store standards. Since 2015, it has recovered 40 million pounds of produce — 32 million of which came from last year alone.

Boxes are customizable based on what customers like, so there’s no fussing with food they won’t enjoy, but there are options to order pre-made boxes as well. Based on people’s neighborhoods a delivery day is assigned, and from there customers can choose a delivery time that works with their schedule.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, there is a product line called Imperfect Picks that allows customers to pick through items such as olive oil, rice, pasta, and more. The four main reasons why these items end up going to waste is because of packaging issues, surplus, best-buy dates that are less than six months out, and overall appearance.

The following are considered eligible delivery zones for Imperfect Produce boxes: Clinton Township, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Royal Oak, Saint Clair Shores, Saint Heights, Southfield, Southgate, Taylor, Troy, Warren, and Westland. Eligible delivery zones will expand in the coming months.

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