Momentum is building to bring more misshapen and imperfect produce to the table. Over the past few years, so-called ugly fruit and vegetables have been gaining a host of admirers. Now, the Bismarck community has officially joined the bandwagon.
At Ugly Food of the North, they believe all safe, nutritious food deserves to be loved and enjoyed. It was formed in 2015 in the Fargo-Moorhead community to bring attention and awareness to food waste and food sustainability issues. Following in their footsteps, community partners and collaborators – BisMan Community Food Coop, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health and BisMarket are bringing this movement to the Bismarck community.
"We're excited to bring awareness about ‘Ugly Food’. It may be bigger, smaller or a little misshapen, but it’s just as good as it’s perfect-looking counterpart, sometimes better,” says Katie Johnke, Nutrition Services Coordinator for Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health. “Forty percent of food resources are wasted each year, while nearly 50 million Americans live in food insecure households. We have an abundance of food, but a huge amount of it is not reaching those who need it.”
A large portion of that waste is comprised of perfectly good fruits and veggies that never make it to groceries and farmers markets because they aren’t aesthetically pleasing. Inspired by the momentum in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health saw a need to further the conversation around creating a more sustainable food system in Bismarck.
There is a national movement underway to bring awareness to the issue of food waste and how ugly food (cosmetically imperfect) contributes to waste. “We see ‘Ugly Food’ as an opportunity for people to get involved with a national conversation on a local level. Food has a universal ability to unite people, and that shared sense of community has never been more important,” says Johnke. Starting this weekend, look for “Ugly Food” at BisMarket and the BisMan Community Co-op. For more information about “Ugly Food” and it’s availability visit https://www.bismarket.com/.