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A Deep Dive into Food Waste

It’s no secret that food waste is a major problem in the U.S.—and the issue is largely systemic. According to ReFED, a nonprofit working to combat food loss, 35% of all our food goes unsold or uneaten each year. Not only is it a waste of resources and money, ReFED also estimates that our surplus food has the same climate footprint as the entire U.S. aviation industry.

So what exactly counts as food waste (or surplus food)? The term includes all food unsold or unused by a business, or uneaten at home. Which means that everything from that overripe avocado you had to toss, to leftovers at a restaurant, to a field of broccoli that couldn’t get harvested in time all count. 

Our mission is to partner with farmers, manufacturers and vendors, and our customers to save food from becoming waste—because we think all food is good food. To make that happen, we buy up all the edible food that currently gets overlooked by the system, advocate for progressive legislation, and encourage innovation in the industry. 

What do we “rescue” and why?

When we launched Misfits Market in 2018, we were focused on buying up all the produce historically overlooked by the traditional grocery stores due to superficial blemishes and irregularities in size and shape. Now that we’ve expanded our storefront to include a full grocery assortment including meat and seafood, dairy, and packaged goods, we’ve also expanded the foods we rescue to include items that might’ve had a manufacturing mishap, goods that are being rebranded, and cuts grocery stores have deemed less desirable. Who says salmon tails are any less delicious than filets? 

How can I minimize food waste (and save money!) at home?

If you couldn’t tell, we’re big on minimizing food waste in all areas. Minimizing waste in your own kitchen starts with storing things correctly—particularly the more sensitive fruits and veggies. Bananas and avocados, for example, are sworn nemesis, among others. FIFO (or first in, first out) can also be a helpful framework for using things up before they’re past their prime. And don’t forget the freezer is your friend, too. 

Confusing sell-by, use-by, and best-by dates (which actually have nothing to do with whether an item’s safe to eat!) don’t help. Even the USDA says it’s safe to eat foods that are past those packaging dates. And of course, we’ve all been conditioned to eat only select parts of fruits and veggies depending on what the item is. But personally, we think all roots, greens, and peels are pretty delicious.

So, what can you do? 

We’re so glad you asked, cuz we’ve got tons of ideas. From the general stuff (“14 Ways to Get Creative—and Save Money–with Food Scraps”) to the hyper-specific scraps (potato peels, carrot tops, citrus peels, watermelon rinds, and all things corn). 

Water goes a long way in reviving lackluster produce, as does a good quick pickle, or low and slow veggie or fruit roast

Hungry for more? Keep reading:

What’s Going On With the Supply Chain?

The Beginners Guide to Countertop Composting

How to Be More Sustainable at Every Level

Comments (14)

We sure do, Suzy! The vast majority of our fresh produce is certified organic and non-GMO. Occasionally we may rescue responsibly grown conventional produce that we don’t want to see go to waste; all items that are organic, however, are clearly indicated on our website.

For other grocery staples and proteins, we have strict sourcing standards and work with partners who are transparent about their methods to ensure that you can feel good about what goes into the production of the goods we carry.

We’ve also hand-picked suppliers that have found innovative ways to minimize environmental impact by avoiding industrialized farming while still making high-quality products that are affordable.

Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions! We appreciate your interest and would love for you to consider joining us anytime.

I make a health food for dogs and use lots of veggies and meat in the process. It all gets grown up into dogfood and so pretty doesn’t matter. I hate to see good food go to waste also. I am interested in cost of your products, because my food is reasonably priced so people can afford to feed their dogs healthy food.

That’s so cool, Susan! Our furry friends deserve to eat delicious, high-quality food too. To answer your question, we believe high-quality food should be affordable and accessible to everyone, so everything we offer in our discounted selection is up to 40% off what you would pay at the grocery store. Just meet our order minimum and you’re good to go: shipping is a flat rate by zip code that starts at $6.99 per order and stays the same regardless of how much you spend. We hope you will give us a try and see how our service works for you!

Hi Vernita, great question! With our flexible shopping experience​ how often you receive orders is up to you! By default, we’ll send you weekly curated boxes, but every week you’ll have the opportunity to customize, edit, or skip your order if you don’t need anything during your shopping window. Plus, if you prefer to opt out of automated weekly orders, you can switch to our a la carte plan. With this option, you’ll only receive an order if you actively build a box and reach the order minimum during your shopping window. We hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions. ????

Please cancel my a la carte membership. I am not eating the food and it’s spoiling. Please cancel the membership

Hi Mary, we are committed to providing you with an amazing experience, and we apologize if we fell short here. If you prefer to opt out of automated weekly orders, you can switch to our a la carte plan. With this option, you’ll only receive an order if you actively build a box and reach the order minimum during your shopping window. You can do this easily yourself by logging in and visiting “Manage Account”: just scroll down to the section titled “Need a Break?” and then click the link “Cancel Plan” and “Continue with Cancellation”.

You will have successfully opted out of the weekly shopping plan with recurring charges, but you will retain access to your account and can log in anytime to build an order only when you wish to receive one. We hope this is helpful, but if you have any questions or wish to fully cancel, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Customer Success team at Thank you!

It’s totally up to you, Linda! By default, we’ll send you weekly curated boxes, but every week you’ll have the opportunity to customize, edit, or skip your order (if you don’t need anything that week). To learn more about how our service works, please visit our FAQs here: We hope this is helpful and that you’ll consider giving us a try!

I don’t trust any company that sends me an email asking me to sign up before they show me the pricing.

Thank you for your interest in our service, Steve! To give you a better sense of our pricing, here’s a sampling of some of our favorite deals right now: Organic Blood Oranges, 4 count is $1.99 (roughly 52% off compared to traditional retailers), Organic Dandelion Greens are $2.29 (roughly 43% off), and Organic Bunched Red Radishes are $1.89 (roughly 24% off).

We reserve these exclusive deals for our members, but signing up for a membership with Misfits Market is free, and there is no obligation to purchase or continue. We hope this helps give you a taste of what we offer, but you’re also welcome to view our Facebook page at to see photos our customers have shared of their own Misfits Market boxes!

Thanks for reaching out with this great question, Kitra! You can edit each and every box and customize your order from a range of seasonal organic produce and high-quality, sustainably-sourced groceries, including meat, seafood, and dairy–and you can skip an order or pause your membership whenever you need to. We hope you’ll give us a try and let us know what you think!

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