The Murky Ethics of the Ugly-Produce Business

January 28, 2019 Amanda Mull, The Atlantic

Depending on who you ask, ugly produce is either the salvation or destruction of America’s food system. The reality of its potential impact might be a little more complicated, with start-ups profiting from the food system’s structural problems while also providing real, material good for working-class people.

Does Your Box of “Ugly” Produce Really Help the Planet? Or Hurt it?

If the vegetables inside these boxes were never destined for the landfill, then the growth of ugly produce companies threatens to make the food waste problem worse, according to co-author Eric Holt-Gimenez, the executive director of Food First. The companies, while well-intentioned, are now competing with the other players in the surplus market, incentivizing farmers to overproduce to meet that demand.