California company fights mounting global crisis with 'ugly' snacks

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Ben Moore is the founder of the Ugly Company, a sustainable snack retailer that aims to up-cycle physically imperfect, safe-to-eat produce into nutritious, natural fruit snacks.

According to the company, thousands of truckloads of "ugly fruit" — blemished produce that's otherwise perfectly good for human consumption — are thrown out in California each year. On a global scale, the practice results in a massive amount of unnecessary food waste every day — and Moore wants to put an end to it.

"Just within a 15-mile radius of where we're sitting right now in Kingsburg, between a thousand and two thousand tons of fruit a day gets dumped out," Moore told In The Know at his California farm. "Almost all of that fruit could be consumed by a human being, whether it's fresh or in a processed product."

"Other than farmers, nobody really sees that," he added of the global crisis.

Moore says his company runs by creating "profitable demand," which drives value back to farmers in exchange for products made from ugly fruit that would have gone to waste.

"Right now, we have a dried fruit product out there," Moore said of the company's latest snack. "One 4-ounce bag of that prevents over two pounds of fruit from being thrown out."

Ultimately, the founder says, he wants to see the global problem of food waste put to an end.

"Our goal is that no food is wasted at farms worldwide," he added. "When that happens, we're done."

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