by Sarah Phillips, CEO and founder, Ugly Produce is Beautiful
A Traverse City, Michigan, tart cherry farmer is leaving 14% of his crop this year to rot on the ground to comply with an industry marketing agreement intended to keep cherry prices stable. And he's not happy about it.
"These cherries are beautiful!" Santucci posted with the photo. "But, we have to dump 14% of our tart cherry crop on the ground to rot. Why? So we can allow the import of 200 million pounds of cherries from overseas! It just doesn't seem right."
This blatant type of food waste with perfectly good produce is what Ugly Produce is Beautiful is trying to make the public aware of, so we can make change to this hideous system.
I agree with the Detroit Free Press that Santucci could have worked with the board to find a place to donate the surplus cherries, which typically aren't eaten raw like sweet cherries because of their very short shelf-life, but are instead used in products such as pie filling and jams. But the overall United States system of dumping produce to keep prices stable and to allow for foreign imports, has to change.
We started Farmer Share as a small step towards selling ugly produce from the farm that would otherwise go to waste. We know that our initiative will grow through time.
Join UPIB and follow @UglyProduceIsBeautiful and @food on Instagram.
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