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How Does E+S Reduce Food Waste?

How do we reduce food waste at Ends + Stems?

Reducing Household Food WasteThe most commonly offered advice from food waste and zero waste advocates is: Meal plan and grocery shop from a list.

This is great advice, its what our company was founded on! But, at Ends + Stems, we take it much further.

Here are all of the ways Ends+Stems bakes methods to effortlessly reduce your food waste into our Meal Planning Service:

Meal Plan

Other meal planning apps or services ask you to choose the recipes or upload your files onto the planner before it works. Our community identified Deciding What to Cook as their biggest culinary stress point and the reason that they don’t meal plan! The value of Ends+Stems is that we save you time and take this piece of domestic labor off your to-do list.

Grocery list

Our grocery list feature is interactive. Add or remove a recipe, the ingredients update without work from you. Also, you can add your household’s other grocery needs to this list as well and even save your “staples” to add items you buy weekly to the list with one click. Share the list with a partner, nanny, grandparent, or whoever is shopping that week so you’re all on the same page.

Check Inventory

Professional chefs know that running inventory before you make purchases is critical to maintaining your food cost and reducing waste. Use the check boxes on your grocery list to check off what you already have at home before you shop. One click drops the item out of site, but you can add it back if you’ve made a mistake.

Recipes Dovetail - Chef Alison has 15 years of experience writing recipes and in food purchasing. She writes our recipes and meal plans to fit together like a puzzle each week. That’s why cooking all 3 recipes on the plan will give you the greatest impact!

Impact Reports

If you click the “I Cooked This” button, your estimated food-not-wasted total gets converted to greenhouse gasses saved from the air and converted again into slices of pizza not wasted (so you can visualize it!). Subscribers get credits for each recipe and meal plan they cook so you can see how much your efforts count. Its validation that your attention and efforts really do matter on a global scale so you can confidently keep at it.

Reduce Red Meat Consumption Gently

We aren’t vegetarians, but we love veggies! Reducing meat by just an ounce or two per serving can actually reduce your overall carbon footprint because of the huge quantity or resources it takes to get beef and pork to market. We write recipes for both, and enjoy eating these meals! You don’t have to abstain completely to have an impact. E+S Hack: If you’re a meat eater attempting to eat  less meat, choose the Vegetarian Meal Plans and add a 4th recipe from the Omnivore Section!

Thoughtful Vegetarian Plans

You won’t find the uninspired instruction to “sub tofu” on every meat dish. We write, test, and share a huge variety of cravable vegetarian meals for long time and beginner vegetarians to enjoy.

Ingredient Index

This feature might be a sleeper hit, so be sure to check it out. Our index has an entry for each ingredient in our recipes with quick access tips like: how to buy, how to store for maximum shelf life, how to pickle/freeze/can/ferment/preserve before it goes bad, and a link to other recipes that use up what you have leftover.

Search By Ingredient

You can search our recipe database by ingredients if you have a specific item that needs using up!

One Click Recipe Scaling

If you don’t like leftovers, don’t cook so much. Scale recipes up or down depending on your plans for that night.

Chef Approved Substitutions

Ends+Stems recipes are written by Alison, a long-time professional chef who thinks she’s been asked to accommodate pretty much whatever you can think of at one time or another. Each recipe lists substitutions so you make adjustments on the fly if you’re out of something rather than purchasing more food or letting something go to waste.

Our Recipes

Following up on above, Alison writes E+S recipes with Zero Food Waste in mind - so rather than calling for non-organic measurements (1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1 cup of onion) she uses a physical amount (half a lemon, 1 small onion). Sure, produce sizes vary, but this is why most savory home cooking is the best! Its not critical to the outcome of a dish.

The Whys of Cooking

If a recipe demands you heat the pan before adding an ingredient but doesn’t explain why, you may follow the step (or not) and that specific recipe will turn out well (or not). We include the WHYs in our recipes so your skills will improve over time because you’ll understand things like: salt dissolves in vinegar but not oil, or browning happens when food is dry and not crowded together otherwise it steams.


We offer 2 Facebook Groups and a dynamic instagram feed. It’s not about perfection, baby steps count! We’re here to answer your questions and support your journey.

What’s in Your Fridge Search

Tell us 2 ingredients you have and we’ll tell you what you can cook. We’re so excited to send this into the world and continue making it more powerful. We add 12 new recipes weekly to the data we pull from so there’s no excuse for leaving something to wilt.


This is where we address anything we missed, offer fantastic new tips, and let you know about exciting partnerships.

ends + stems

Meal Plans

Save time and reduce food waste