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PYP 098: Ben Chesler on Fixing an Imperfect Food System

ben-cheslerBen 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.

[powerpress]

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.

Links

Imperfect website

Imperfect Indiegogo Campaign

Imperfect on Facebook

FoodRecoveryNetwork.org

American Wasteland – book by Jonathan Bloom

Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal  – book by Tristan Stuart

Wasted Restaurant

The Invention of the Chilean Sea Bass

Info on B Corporations

 

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