You make an impact with every order you get from us, but there are so many nonsensical reasons why food gets deemed undesirable that even we have a hard time keeping track sometimes. Since we get so many great questions about the backstories of our groceries, we wanted to make it easier for you to learn how your favorite groceries help create positive change. We created our new imperfection badges to help keep the positive impact of our groceries clear. Now, whenever you see one of these while shopping or unpacking your order, you’ll know exactly how that item helps reduce waste and build a better food system.
Made with Upcycled Ingredients
Upcycled ingredients are by-products that would normally go to waste but have been given their own chance to shine. Our Upcycled Chocolate Chip Cookies are a perfect example. They’re made with Okara flour, which comes from the pulp of organic soybeans that are left over from the process of making soymilk. It’s rich in fiber and high in protein but often goes to waste because folks don’t demand it as much as they do soymilk. Its versatility, mild flavor, and impressive nutrition make it an eggcellent option for the cookie curious.
The smallest blemish or variation in color can mean an almond gets picked from the bunch and kicked to the curb. But we like when things have scars. It usually means they have really great “you wanna know how I got this?” stories. You’ll see the Cosmetic Imperfection badge on items that have been scarred, blemished, or otherwise found to be not sellable by a conventional retailer. Our Sliced Almonds fall into this bucket. But we’ve found that when you take an almond and slice it in half, no one cares that it once upon a time had a blemish.
Size or Weight Imperfection
“Size or Weight Imperfection” describes a finished item that was deemed “unsellable” because it ended up being a little off-sized. Like a Quiche Lorraine that’s a few ounces too light (gasp!), spaghetti that’s a hair too short (shock), or our Wonky Chocolate Bar Pieces that aren’t quite perfectly rectangular (*faints*). Drama aside, all these items are just as delicious as their more perfect counterparts.
Made with Ugly Produce
Only the wonkiest, weirdly formed, most “this came out of the earth?” items get to bear the Made with Ugly Produce badge. It sounds harsh, but it’s an honor, really. While you can’t taste these cosmetic quirks, they make it much harder for growers to sell. So the best solution for some of our more unsightly items is to turn them into something else, like salsa or our Grapefruit Juice. Another example would be our Ready to Cook Chopped Sweet Potatoes. The spuds that spawned them weren’t exactly “ugly;” it’s more that they were absolutely gigantic.
Made with Rescued Ingredients
Not to be confused with “Upcycled,” this badge indicates that an item was made with ingredients intended for another purpose that didn’t work out. For example, our Yogurt Covered Pretzels are made with leftover sprinkles intended for cookies that ended up not going into production. So instead of letting them end up on the factory floor, we saved them for a new twisty treat.
Contains Leftover Ends and Pieces
This is a fun one. It’s our chance to make Jackson Pollock-esque food masterpieces. Take our Salty & Sweet Odds & Ends Bark as an example. It’s something new and seriously delicious, made almost entirely with tasty leftovers from elsewhere in the food system. We basically threw the cookies, chips, and pretzels that didn’t make it to where they were intended at a hunk of chocolate. And trust us, it’s not an exaggeration to call this a masterpiece.
We hope you found this guide enlightening and that it helps you out the next time you shop with us! Never forget that how you shop, store, and cook your favorite foods has surprisingly big ripple effects out in the world. If you want your next Imperfect order to make an even bigger impact, following our imperfection badges is a great way to start.