As you may already be aware “Ugly Food” refers to fresh fruits and vegetables that may look a little different than the "perfect" food you find in most grocery stores. They might be bigger, smaller or a little misshapen, but they’re just as good as it’s perfect-looking counterpart, sometimes better!
Reports estimate that 40% of food resources in the United States go to waste each year, often because of the way it looks. If we wasted just 30% less food, we could feed 25 million people. At Ugly Food of the North, our goal is to challenge people to rethink why they deem foods to be acceptable or unacceptable, and to hopefully, waste less food.
This summer, we hosted Ugly Food Day at the Red River Market, an opportunity for the community to enjoy the array of local produce, beautiful and ugly. Vendors were encouraged bring their imperfect produce to the Market and we provided creative signs to encourage patrons to buy and enjoy this produce. We also hosted a Kids Scavenger Hunt where youth explored the Market, met farmers, discovered various ugly foods, and tasted a healthy recipe created by Sanford Family Wellness. After they successfully completed the hunt, they received two free market tolks ($2 value) to buy fresh food at the Market.
Over 50 kids completed the Scavenger Hunt and many families shared that this was an awesome addition to the Market and a wonderful way to teach kids about food waste and local food.
Kudos to the North Dakota Nutrition Council for the mini grant to fund this project!
ADDITIONAL: Ugly Food of the North was also featuring in a news interview on KVRR about ugly food.