Meet Our Team
“Even in relatively equal societies, welfare can be increased without increase in consumption by consuming differently, rather than consuming more.”
Inspiration can come from unexpected places. This quote that emphasizes the need to “consume differently instead of more”, was found in an economics book, but deeply resonates with the values upon which Ungraded Produce was founded.
Even in a developed country like the United States, Americans of all circumstances are discontent with some aspect of the food system. People often lack the resources, transportation, and time to afford and access nourishing foods. One solution to feeding the rising population is to produce more food, but this creates more food waste and associated environmental, economic, and social externalities.
We believe there is an alternative solution to meeting consumer demands: to produce and consume differently, which involves creating a market for misshapen but high- quality ugly produce.
At Ungraded, we buy and sell locally-grown “ugly” produce and take a triple-bottom- line approach to address the complex set of issues arising from food waste.
40% of food goes uneaten in the United States. This food creates millions of tons of landfill waste, which breaks down to emit methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Ungraded aims to reverse the tendency of growing more food to feed more people, thereby reducing the environmental consequences of industrial farming and food waste.
Affordable and Accessible
Americans are buying fewer fruits and vegetables than they want to consume to cut costs. In the Triangle, Durham residents and Duke students identify high cost and the inconvenience of traveling to markets as the prime barriers to consuming more produce.
To address these barriers, we price our products 30% cheaper than grocery store comparables. Additionally, our online order form and home-delivery service presents a convenient way for customers to access fresh produce.
In Durham county, 52,000 people, 20% of the population, are food insecure – much higher than the national average of one in every six people.
By reducing costs and delivering to subscribers’ doorsteps, Ungraded wants to play a role in addressing food accessibility-related issues in the Triangle. However, we hope to take this one step further by providing customers with the option to sponsor a family in need.