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In the U.S., a whopping 40% of food is wasted, and some of it starts at the grocery store and in our kitchens. We may purchase more than we consume, toss perfectly good food scraps, food that’s past a certain date, or leftovers that no one wants to touch. Although the intention is to eat everything we buy, our kids are picky and we’re super-busy too, so it’s not always realistic. If you want to how to reduce food waste at home, however, it’s not as tough as you may think. 

In this episode, I sat down with Alison Mountford, a chef, speaker, and the founder of Ends+Stems, a meal planning membership that’s designed to help families reduce food waste. Alison also hosts a series of online courses for easier weeknight meals and feeding picky eaters with less stress.

Alison talks about what those dates on packages actually mean, and how to reduce food waste at home by conducting a fun food audit with your kids, meal planning, and using leftovers and food scraps. Plus, with more parties and the holidays right around the corner, she talks about what to do with all the extra food. 


2:04 Let’s talk about your story!

4:21 Why do we waste so much food in the U.S.?

10:56 What about throwing out food when you have babies and young kids? 

13:26 What should we know about “best by,” “use by,” and other dates?

18:14 What are ways that families can reduce food waste at home?

21:29 How can we make meal planning easier?

24:03 What can we do about leftovers? 

26:11 How can we use food scraps?

28:17 How can we use the freezer?

31:17 You say we should eat ugly—what does that mean?

33:29 How can we get kids involved?

36:13 How can you donate cooked food?


Julie mentions 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year. 

Learn more about Alison’s course: Chef Alison’s Stress-Less Family Meals.

Alison mentions the Olio app.

Learn more about Alison and Ends + Stems on EndsandStems.com

Follow Alison on Instagram and TikTok.


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Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.