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Reduce And Reuse Food This Thanksgiving

American consumers waste one-fifth of the food available to them. Here's how to reduce that figure this Thanksgiving.

Be merry and waste not.

The largest American food holiday is upon us this week. Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate food, friends and family. For some of us, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the abundance of one of those — or all three.

Waste Not, Want Not

As with many meals, Thanksgiving comes with its share of leftovers. What leftovers don’t get consumed, however, get thrown out.

Which brings up a staggering statistic — 20 percent of the waste that ends up in a landfill is food.

There are countless ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, from the traditional sandwich to the not-so-expected turkey enchiladas and soups. The New York Times featured a turkey hash using leftover vegetables and topped with a fried egg.

Have a turkey carcass lying around? Even the bones can be used to make stock. (No need to spend $9 a cup!) If your turkey didn’t quite yield enough bones, you can freeze them until you have enough for stock.

Reduce Before The Meal

Composting scraps and peels is another great way to reduce waste while cooking and consuming this holiday season.

Of course, if you’re looking to reduce your leftovers to begin with, meal planning is the way to go.

Use up what you already have, then make a list before embarking on your grocery store visit. One blogger recommends donating what money you’ve saved from downsizing your Thanksgiving menu to local food pantries.

What tips do you have for a waste-free, happy Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below!

Read More:

  • Take Control of Your Food Waste This Thanksgiving (Boston.com)
  • Thanksgiving Is a Great Time to Start Reducing Food Waste with Friends & Family (USDA)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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