Sweet, sweet, sweet potatoes: A+ Sweet Potatoes without an A grade

Did you know we love using sweet potatoes in our treat recipes for their nutrient profile?  They are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for our pets, plus they’re tasty.

box of upcycled sweet potatoes for use in Shameless pets sustainable pet treats


Naturally, we turned to the largest growing region of sweet potatoes in the country, North Carolina.  We found farms there grow a variety of sweet potatoes, but not all of them meet the U.S. Grade A requirement to be sold to retailers. 

What does not meeting Grade A requirements mean? 

It means the sweet potatoes are still fresh, but may not meet regular size or cosmetic requirements to sit sweetly on a grocery store shelf. These sweet potatoes, we'll call them the B+ ones, are then diverted to landfills or simply left on the fields and are left unused.  You can see how the pounds of these potatoes would add up.  In fact, they are contributing to a 63 million pounds of food problem of food going wasted each year!   

Where do we and the planet come in? We're glad you asked!

Since we don't care about what our sweet potatoes look like, we happily source these B+ potatoes from farmers, which is amazing for a few reasons.  First of all, we are preventing food waste through upcycling, or creating new, high quality products from food surplus as defined by the Upcycling Food Association.  Secondly, we are supporting farmers who otherwise would have to let these potatoes go to waste. 

To date, we’ve prevented over 200,000 pounds of sweet potatoes from going unused! Next time your kitty or pup is enjoying one of treats made with sweet potatoes, just think of all the nutrients they’re getting from treat time and all the good you’re doing for the planet.  A true A+ ingredient.