Ben Chesler was finding – and fixing – broken food systems before he even got to college. As a freshman, Ben cofounded the Food Recovery Network, a non-profit that feeds the hungry with excess food from college dining halls. Now with chapters in over 100 colleges nationwide, it’s donated over 700,000 pounds of perfectly good food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Now Ben’s at it again. The Brown University senior has cofounded Imperfect, a company dedicated to fixing another broken part of our food system.
In our conversation, we discuss:
- the power of individuals to bring about big change
- the huge waste stream of cosmetically imperfect produce
- the sell-by date scam (or how a jar of peanut butter can last a century)
- what heirloom tomatoes and Chilean Sea Bass have in common
- the challenge of doing socially responsible capitalism in a money-driven world
- the joys (and educational value) of dumpster diving
- evidence that the world is ready for ugly produce
- the fancy New York City restaurant that served dumpster-dived food for a month – and got some of the world’s best chefs to
- cook it
- impact of the California drought on food distribution systems in America
- launching Imperfect in Oakland and Berkeley, CA
- the new social model of the B Corporation
- finding investors looking for return to society as well as return on investment
- and much more
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
American Wasteland – book by Jonathan Bloom
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal – book by Tristan Stuart
You CAN Change Other People!
Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.
What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.
Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.
Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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