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'Odd Bunch' working to keep food out of landfills

‘Odd Bunch’ opened its doors in May 2022, with the idea of reducing the amount of food that finds its way to a landfill and giving southern Ontario consumers a affordable option for healthy produce.

“We are wasting five-billion pounds of food every year. And on the other hand, one of eight Canadians don't know where the next meal is coming from. So we wanted to bridge that gap, [we] met a couple of farmers and boom.” Said co-founder Adi Ojha. “Our grandfather always told us not to even waste the last grain of rice on the plate.”

“The idea behind odd bunch was really to put together a box of high-impact items that we could rely on our suppliers for,” added his cousin and co-founder Divyansh Ojha.

The food that is gathered and sold was rejected for retail sale, but that doesn’t mean it is an inferior product

“For example, this clementine was rejected just on the basis of coloration on the outside or maybe the lettuce was too dirty when the farmer picked it out.” Adi said.

It’s part of a concerted effort to reduce food waste and make healthy eating more affordable.

“Literally, every single piece of fruit or vegetable in the box could have the most impact against reducing food waste. It's the worst type of waste that you could possibly have, in my opinion,” said Divyansh

The food is brought in mostly through southwestern Ontario farmers, and then arranged in boxes of different sizes and delivered weekly to customers. And these are items that are as fresh as you would find in the store.

“There is a plethora of items which are made available to us which are perfectly fine, they have a normal shelf life they can last year anywhere from five to 14 days,” he added.

After just three months, Odd Bunch is serving customers from Sarnia to Oshawa, with potential to expand even further because of its proximity to the source.

“Were so lucky and blessed to be in a part of Ontario which is so rich in agriculture you know you drive a couple hours to the west and you're in basically in greenhouse county,” said Divyansh.

Odd Bunch focuses on products that are in season, and according to Adi the menu is altered weekly depending on the crops that are available from local farmers.

“You will see a lot of peaches, nectarines right now you'll see some watermelon, corn coming in, you will see some squash in the fall season. Our primary focus is to help out farmers in the area and that is where we go to first.”

The boxes come in two different sizes offering a variety of fruit and vegetables. Top Stories

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