Ugly fruits and veggies can be pretty appealing (and delicious) when you grind them into dust. That’s the basic pitch for the 2050 Company, which launched its line of instant smoothies made from upcycled produce via Kickstarter today.
Sourced from farms and distributors across the West Coast, 2050 takes cosmetically imperfect fruits and vegetables and runs them through a proprietary drying process that removes the water but retains the nutrients in the items. The resulting dried produce is then ground into dust, which is packaged up and can be mixed with ice to make a smoothie.
2050 will start with three flavors: Rainier Berry, Seattle Summer, and Evergreen. A minimum pledge of $35 gets you 10-pack bag of smoothies with the first 350 backers getting Rainier Berry flavored smoothies in September and the rest being fulfilled in November.
Ugly produce has actually become quite the belle of the ball in recent years. In addition to it being turned into soups, sauces and ice creams, a number of startups are selling it outright. The aptly named Imperfect Foods (née Imperfect Produce) started off by selling surplus and ugly produce direct to consumers. Same goes for Misfits Market. And FoodMaven sells the ugly stuff to restaurants.
While we haven’t yet had a chance to try the 2050 smoothie, reducing ugly produce down to a powder is an intriguing idea. It’s lightweight, so it’s easy to ship, and will last on a shelf for up to one year.
Another company doing something similar is BlendJet, which sells a portable blender and packs of freeze-dried fruits for smoothies ($3.95 each).
2050 got its name because of its mission to improve the way we treat the planet before the environmental disasters (ice caps melting, rain forests gone, etc.) predicted to happen by the year 2050 arrive. We’ll see if that kind of foresight extends to its first year of business in 2020.