In less than two years, we’ve kept over 4 MILLION pounds of produce from going to waste. This statistic is so inspiring and none of this would be possible without your support. Yet, there are still billions more pounds of produce going to waste every year–and we’re not ones to rest on our laurels! There’s a lot more we can do–and we’re inspired to do it together. In this spirit of collective empowerment, we want to share some ways for you to make an even bigger impact and help us save the next 4 million pounds.
- Refer a friend! If you’re in love with Imperfect and want to help grow our community even further, one easy way to do this is by referring a friend! Not only do your friends and family get in on the great savings and delicious produce, but you get the satisfaction of being the trendsetter in the group! For every person that you refer, each of you gets $10 in credit. It’s a win for your wallets and the planet!
- Learn a new preservation technique! Folks send us photos of their Imperfect pickles, preserves, and fermentation projects every day. It always makes us inspired to try something new or take an old skill to a new level. Learning how to pickle, ferment, and preserve produce not only keeps your excess fruits and veggies from going to waste, it helps you unlock new types of deliciousness. Trust us when we say that nothing from the store tastes as good as homemade pickles, sauerkraut, or jam. Learning just one new recipe or technique is really empowering and slightly addictive (in a good way!). You’ll find yourself making preserved lemons and pickled celery before you know it!
- Try a shopping “fast.” It sounds a little crazy, but taking a break from shopping for a week or two can be one of the best ways to realize how much food you’re buying and not using and then find innovative ways to turn things around. Constraints are the mother of creativity, especially in the kitchen! If this sounds intimidating, start with just your refrigerator. Take stock of what’s in there and commit to not buying new perishable ingredients until you use up what’s already in there. You’ll be amazed at the scrappy stocks and versatile sauces that you come up with when you have no choice but to use things up. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who stockpiles cinnamon like it will prevent the apocalypse, but the good news is that all that surplus is just asking for innovative new uses!
- Start a garden! No act produces better ingredients or a deeper appreciation for them than gardening. The simple act of growing some of your own food will also profoundly affect how you view food waste. Once you’ve seen how much time and effort it takes to grow something, you’re far less likely to let any produce go to waste, yours or otherwise. Your garden need not be large or labor intensive. Even a small pot with your favorite herb by the window will noticeably improve your cooking. Our favorite things to grow at home are hot peppers (even one goes a long way!), lettuces (because freshness is key for greens), and fresh herbs (basil, mint, and parsley are all prolific, versatile, and fun!). We encourage you to try growing your favorite veggie or herb and let us know how it goes!
- Cook with your children! Besides being fun, involving your children (or nieces, nephews, and other young relatives) in cooking shows them the importance, fun, and creativity of food early on, and will make them much less likely to waste it later on in life. You’ll also be amazed how even a small task like washing a carrot together or measuring out spices can end up teaching important skills about math, science, agriculture, geography, and more! Each question they ask is an awesome chance to have a conversation about our food, where it comes from, and why it matters. Not wasting food is always a team effort and by instilling the knowledge and skills in children early, we set them up to really care about their food decisions in the long run.