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Cooking Challenge

Cooking Ingredients

2024 Cooking Challenge

Submissions due April 9

About the contest

Join us for a national challenge to reward and spread the word about creative, low-waste cooking. Pssst…we have prizes.


In honor of Food Waste Prevention Week we’re holding a challenge to highlight the ingenious food-waste-fighting work going on in household kitchens across the country. Everyone wins when we make the most of food, but the submitted recipes that most excite our judges (and they’re pretty excitable, so don’t stress) will earn some nifty prizes.


How to Enter

From March 4 to April 9, anytime you make a meal that helps you rescue food that might have been tossed, tell us about it by filling out the form in the link above. Each dish you share will be an entry in the challenge. You don’t need to write out a formal recipe, just share the story of the dish and, if you can, include a photo. We want to hear ALL about your food-waste-fighting journey, so if you try to improvise a meal and it turns out just OK, but you learn something along the way, go ahead and share that with us too.


Entries can earn additional points by posting photos about the creation and tagging #FWPWChallenge @foodwastepreventionweek @Ends&Stems @EatOrToss on social media.


After April 9, our judges will evaluate each entry based on a number of food-waste-fighting factors. We’ll announce the winners during an Instagram Live event on Friday, April 26.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be scored based on:

  • Versatility (ability to use up random ingredients, etc.)

  • Using parts of the food that are often wasted (peels, stems)

  • Creativity

  • Appeal

  • Power to inspire others to reduce their waste

All entries will be entered into a raffle.

Who are the judges?

Alison Mountford

Alison Mountford is a consumer food waste reduction expert, content creator, and public/corporate speaker. In 2017 she founded Ends+Stems - a recipe website that helps busy people meal plan with less waste. What’s in Your Fridge? With Chef Alison is a recurring segment on WPRI's The Rhode Show, demonstrating sustainable cooking habits on morning television.  Alison has worked with Target, Airtable, Deloitte, Stanford, USCF, the Smithsonian and the EPA. She began in 2005 as a personal chef and had a catering company in San Francisco for 16 years. Alison is the Director of Marketing for Hope & Main, Rhode Island’s Premier Culinary Incubator and the Culinary Content Director for Drexel University’s CHEF-WPM project.


Rachael Jackson

Rachael is a food journalist and the founding editor of, which uses images and fun, science-based articles to help home cooks assess “questionable-looking” food. Rachael also promotes low-waste cooking and speaks on consumer food waste reduction to audiences ranging from Girl Scouts to government agencies. She has written about food waste for publications including The Washington Post and and serves on the board of the DC Food Recovery Working Group. She’s excited to read about your food-waste-fighting adventures!

Rules and Guidelines

  1. You may enter as many times as you want.

  2. Your recipe may be based on an already published recipe, but you should explain how you tweaked it to work with what you had.

  3. You do not need to write out a formal recipe with specific ingredients or instructions–but if you want to, we won’t stop you!

What happens to the recipes?

Recipes and dishes, even those that don’t win the top prizes, may be featured on the websites and social media accounts of Food Waste Prevention Week website, Ends & Stems and EatOrToss. We’re most likely to feature recipes with photos so, include those if you can!


The four top-scoring recipes and the raffle winner will each receive $100! They’ll also get their recipe professionally developed and photographed by household food waste influencer Alison Mountford. Not to mention the bragging rights and the chance to help others reduce their food waste!

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