UglyFood: transforming imperfection into wholesomeness


How everyday people are changing our world

Have you heard of "cosmetic filtering"?

You may have been guilty of it in the past, when you chose a bunch of kai Ian over another just because it looked prettier or greener, or perhaps it had less "holes". Almost all of us have done so, at some point.

The co-founders of UglyFood, Yeo Pei Shan and Augustine Tan, have made it their quest to educate people on curbing this wasteful practice of rejecting or throwing away perfectly edible food simply because they are visually unappealing.

Inspired by the mounting problem of food wastage in Singapore, these enterprising champions of the environment have embarked on a mission to discourage cosmetic filtering.

The business concept of UglyFood was born during a university project. and further developed through research and discussions with stakeholders like supermarket chains, local farmers and wet market stall owners. From there, they realised that a lot of food items become "ugly" due to logistical processes, such as distribution and transportation, but are still safe for consumption and just as nutritious.

Let's help cut down food waste
  • When shopping for fresh produce and groceries, don't cast aside items that don't look good but are perfectly edible.

  • Don't prod, squeeze or drop fresh produce; you'll damage them and compound the problem.

  • Don't buy or order more than what you are able to consume.

  • Show your support for food outlets that are proactive in taking steps to reduce food wastage by patronising them more often.

  • Highlight or promote the good efforts of such food outlets via social media, word-of-mouth or other channels.

Through working with established mentors in the F&B industry, they developed a range of healthy recipes to transform "ugly" food into beautiful and delectable products. They started off with juices, and have now expanded the range to include ice cream and fruit teas as well.

They don't plan to stop doing so, until everyone starts seeing the beauty in "ugly" food.

You can support UglyFood in their quest by choosing to see the "inner beauty" in such fruits and vegetables. You will be helping to save the environment by not rejecting visually imperfect food, and by looking out for their products when shopping.

UglyFood is a social enterprise supported by DBS Foundation.

DBS Foundation is Singapore's first foundation that is dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship and encouraging the development of businesses for good.

Since 2014, DBS has awarded over SGD 4.7 million as grants to over 100 social enterprises (SEs) as part of its Social Enterprise Grant Programme.

If you're in the business of doing good, and want to scale your operations and impact, apply to DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Progamme here.


This content is produced in partnership with ST Life.

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