The Day LA Got Ugly!
A few weeks ago, Imperfect's marketing team traveled down to Los Angeles for a one-of-a-kind event. Our goal was to bring together some of the city's top food minds to discuss how we could work together to take our mission of reducing food waste and increasing food accessibility to the next level. On this fateful afternoon in Early April, we assembled a vibrant and talented cast of entrepreneurs, nonprofit activists, bloggers, influencers, and budding YouTube celebrities. Imagine a culinary council of Elrond in an ethereal loft in Venice fueled by avocado toast and healthy smoothies. You're starting to get the picture.
The setting for the day was the beautiful Parachute Hotel, from the same folks at Parachute Home who make those wonderfully comfortable linens. We couldn't have asked for a more inspiring and gorgeous backdrop to our day of food and discussion. The towels in the bathroom were as soft as the afternoon sun slanting through the windows in the most Instagrammable fashion imaginable.
A "choose-your-own-adventure" avocado toast bar was one of the edible centerpieces of the room. At Imperfect we firmly believe that most things are better with avocados and this event was certainly no exception. What’s more--these avocados were imperfect, and would’ve otherwise ended up uneaten! Instead, they got to be eaten and documented by avocado lovers like Vevian from Fitalicious life and Lee From America.
Chef Nicole Derseweh of Feastly (left) and Daniele Kende of colormecomplete teamed up in the kitchen to keep our guests full and energized throughout the event. Nicole served up delicious polenta bowls with butternut squash, harissa and homemade pickles, plus an amazing sweet and savory rosemary mascarpone crepe cake. Daniela fueled our discussion groups’ brain power with healthy walnut-blueberry and cucumber-mint smoothies (all gluten-free and vegan, no less!). As the husband and wife team behind LA foodie and their twin boys dug into the healthy spread, we knew it was going to be a special day.
Our hope was that everyone would leave the event excited to activate their communities, businesses, and followers to do more to fight waste and create healthy food. After an eye-opening presentation on the state of our food system by food luminary Robert Egger (of LA Kitchen), we broke into discussion groups. There were too many good ideas from our brainstorm to capture in this blog post, but some of the top themes were:
- There is no shortage of ways to reduce food waste! From catch-all soup recipes to DIY composting systems, to delicious pickle and fermentation projects, our Imperfect community has a lot of food waste knowledge already. What is missing then, is not always the knowledge, but the motivation, time, and equipment necessary to make these ideas a daily reality. Sharing our knowledge with our respective communities is so important as well!
- Food and environmental trends can be unnecessarily confusing and divisive. We all agreed that food trends often come across as overwhelming an contradictory, which is ironic given that healthy, sustainable eating has been around as long as we have. Sometimes it is necessary to tune out the noise and listen to what is right for you and your family. It's important to not judge others for eating and living in ways that aren't identical to yours. There are lots of different ways to approach healthy, waste-free eating and this diversity is something to celebrate not argue about.
- It's time to put the culture back in agriculture! Food is the most meaningful and least wasteful when it is a celebrated part of our social lives. This does mean dedicating more time and energy to food and meals but it also means having a lot more fun and improving our relationship to eating! We need to prioritize food the way we did before the age of the drive-through and the vending machine.
We all left the day inspired but a little sad to part ways so soon. For an online delivery company like us, it can be hard to see your customers face to face, but this event was a powerful reminder of just how awesome our Imperfect community is. We saw first hand exactly the type of community that we had hoped to build in LA and across the country: positive, open-minded, passionate, and just as eclectic as our produce! To everyone that came, and everyone that has supported us in LA and beyond, thank you so much!
Huge thanks to everyone that attended and supported this event:
Fitalicious Life, LA Foodie, Lee From America, Groceryships, Todo Verde, Everytable, Pulp Pantry, Sauce LA, Colormecomplete, Mission Avocados, The Taste Buds, Red Bread, Semolina Pasta, LA Kitchen, Food Forwards, and Parachute Home.