Written by Arkesh Patel, Co-founder of The Real Tomato Company
Visit us at the Boston Public Market over the weekend of April 9 & 10
Most people recognize that food waste is a big issue. But few realize that 20 percent of all fruits and vegetables are wasted in the US simply because they do not meet the beauty standards of grocery stores. This equates to an estimated six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables wasted every year. These are fruits and vegetables that are high quality and fresh, but may have something imperfect about their appearance – a wonky carrot, an apple with one too many blemishes, or a tomato that is not perfectly round.
The issue is that consumers have been conditioned over decades to expect uniform, perfect-looking produce. And all the while, billions of pounds of tasty, nutritious fruits and vegetables are going straight from farm to landfill, adding greenhouse gasses as they rot away. It might take a long time to move people off their expectations of perfectly uniform produce, but it starts with education. And that’s why we started The Real Tomato Company.
The Real Tomato Company is a team of Harvard Business School students who are committed to the double aim of fighting waste with delicious taste. We produce exotic and tasty dips and spreads made primarily from imperfect-looking tomatoes that farms would have otherwise thrown away. Eventually our goal is use solely imperfect tomatoes by partnering with multiple farms in the Massachusetts region.
Our first and signature product is Salmorejo, a smooth and zesty dip originally hailing from Andalucia, Spain, made primarily from tomatoes, garlic and bread. We are the first to bring Salmorejo to the US market and are excited to show how tasty of a dip these imperfect looking ‘real’ tomatoes make.
We will be giving out samples and selling delicious tubs of Salmorejo at the Boston Public Market over the weekend of April 9th & 10th – come by to join us in our mission of reducing food waste through delicious taste!