Cooking, Food Waste, Low-waste Living

Food Waste Spotlight: Ends + Stems Meal Planning

Today’s Food Waste Friday is a spotlight on a company aimed at reducing food waste. The following are the owner’s responses to my food waste questions.

Picture of Ends+Stems owner

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.

A: Ends+Stems is a meal planning web app. It’s subscription based ($12.50 per month) and works on any phone or browser. Each week, we post 3 recipes to the meal plan. Users can make swaps if preferred, scale portion size, and add or subtract a meal, then one click generates a complete grocery list ready to shop in your preferred stores. We have a weekend “Prep Ahead” list to give you a leg up on a busy work week, and delicious, simple recipes to follow. Most are 30 minutes or less, healthy, and family friendly. The site also has food waste tips, an ingredient index, search features, and access to our entire archive of meal plans. We’re relatively new! The site launched in July 2019 and together our members have already saved the equivalent weight of 5 elephants of food from the landfill!

Q: What are your thoughts on our current food waste situation?

A: The scale of the problem is so large, there’s no doubt that we need systemic change and regulation to fully eradicate food waste. That said, individual behavior change matters. More food is wasted in our own homes than at any other point on the supply change, so the power to change rests with us. When individuals act they form community, and when communities mobilize, we can demand systemic change. So even if you can’t run for office, how you run your own home and the example your set for those around you will be seen.

Q: What role do you believe your company can play in reducing people’s food waste?

A: I’ve been a professional chef and caterer for 15 years, most of that time working in people’s private homes. The number one thing I’ve heard in this time is that people are too busy and uninterested in planning in advance. When we turn to food waste reduction advice, the number one thing we hear is “meal plan and grocery shop from a list,” so there’s a huge mismatch. Ends+Stems was designed to fill this gap. On Ends+Stems, I’ll personally plan your meals each week and post them on the app. I specifically write recipes to use everything up and fit together like a puzzle so you can buy less and inadvertently reduce food waste. About half of my customers joined simply to stop worrying “What’s for dinner?” and after a few weeks became hooked on the food waste benefits!

Q: What do you suggest is the easiest action a person can make when i comes to reducing their food waste?

A: The absolute easiest thing is to eat what you’ve already bought. Eat that last banana before it turns too brown. Do a leftovers night and only serve what’s already sitting in your fridge – so many people tell me they waste leftovers when they’re often the fastest route to dinner! Finish the first bag of chips before opening a new one. Serve the ends of cheese on the next cheese plate instead of a new package. It’s about building a habit of following through. The best part about this action is that it’s not only free, but saves you money too! There’s literally zero barrier to entry except your own mindset. If that’s not the most simple way to take action against climate change, please @ me and tell me what you’ve got!

Ends+Stems has been gracious to provide readers of Maranda’s World a 20% off discount. You just use the code MARANDA!