Typically, across the United States, 40% of all food goes to waste. This stems from super-sized portions at restaurants, expiration dates, over-shopping, and on holidays like Thanksgiving, planning too much for the crew coming to you.
With all of that in mind, here are some tips to go about having a no-waste Thanksgiving (and other feasts and feeding frenzies throughout the year:
- This statistic from FoodTank was startling: "Each year, consumers purchase over 700 million pounds of turkey, according to the National Turkey Federation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects that 35 percent of the meat purchased does not get eaten–ending up in landfills, along with sweet potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie, and other holiday fare."
- In addition to facts like that above, there are a slew of practical ideas you can do, down to donating your leftovers to local food banks
- FoodTank provides 14 apps to help you link your excess food to your smartphone.
- checking your guest list,
- turkey shopping for your numbers,
- consider going meat free,
- watching for dishes that need special ingredients (where the rest then gets wasted),
- making stock with the bones or using FindAComposter to repurpose that food waste,
- sending leftovers home with your guests,
- getting creative with the leftovers you are left with!
- using the dishwasher versus handwashing--it's more water efficient!
Popular Science also included a lot of the ideas above (including finding a composting center) and this per person serving:
- 1 lb turkey per person
- Proteins 4-8 oz (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
- Starches 4-8 oz
- Vegetables 4-6 oz
Whatever you plan for this Thanksgiving ahead, may your meal be plentiful, just not overflowing! Think largely while you eat lightly--maybe still a feast for you, but lightening the load on our planet!
Clipart from http://www.lovethispic.com/image/44755/snoopy-and-charlie-brown-thanksgiving; http://clipart-library.com/snoopy-thanksgiving-cliparts.html; Guest-imator image from https://savethefood.com/guestimator; video from https://youtu.be/z1X-HWPbeD4